An author in the making, Unmukt Chand will cherish his jottings from the Holkar Stadium here. His daily diary would have a pleasant entry “I live in now, not about tomorrow. I was just concentrating on this innings.”
Unmukt is a special talent, waiting to explode on the big stage. India Red realised it on Saturday following his century that shaped Delhi’s 112-run victory after Yusuf Pathan againchose to field. The India Red camp had no clue to the skills of left-arm spinner Varun Sood (five for 84) and seamer Ashish Nehra (four for 38).
Delhi had to win to survive in the Challenger Series and it did so in style despite the failures of Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag
Delhi owed it largely to the Young Turks Milind Kumar and Chand with veteran Rajat Bhatia stamping his authority with a blazing charge in the final over when he mauled Abhimanyu Mithun for 24 in the final over.
Virat Kohli’s company guided Unmukt as the India star whipped the bowlers around. Their association was worth 93 runs, the second best of the innings, while Unmukt and the talented Milind Kumar added 120 for the fourth wicket.
India Red was rocked when Ishank Jaggi fell to a catch on the boundary. Only Abhinav Mukund and Gurkeerat Mann put up a résistance.
The scores: Delhi: Gautam Gambhir c & b Mithun 20 (22b, 2x4), Unmukt Chand b Mithun 119 (131b, 12x4, 3x6), Virat Kohli st Patel b Nadeem 63 (55b, 5x4, 2x6), Virender Sehwag b Nadeem 8 (8b, 1x4), Milind Kumar c Patel b Yadav 57 (52b, 5x4, 1x6), Rajat Bhatia (not out) 40 (19b, 3x4, 3x6), Puneet Bisht c Warrier b Mithun 7 (6b, 1x4), Varun Sood (not out) 5 (7b); Extras (lb-7, w-16): 23; Total (for six wkts. in 50 overs): 342.
Fall of wickets: 1-61 (Gambhir), 2-154 (Kohli), 3-168 (Sehwag), 4-288 (Milind), 5-290 (Chand), 6-311 (Bisht).
India Red bowling: Umesh 9-0-85-1, Warrier 9-1-55-0, Mithun 10-0-81-3, Yusuf 10-0-62-0, Nadeem 12-1-52-2.
India Red: Robin Uthappa c Milind b Nehra 7 (14b, 1x4), Abhinav Mukund c Nehra b Varun Sood 64 (87b, 5x4), Smit Patel b Nehra 5 (9b, 1x4), Kedar Jadhav c Sehwag b Varun Sood 17 (20b, 2x4, 1x6), Yusuf Pathan lbw b Varun Sood 0 (1b), Ishank Jaggi c Bhatia b Varun Sood 23 (28b, 2x4, 1x6), Gurkeerat Singh Mann b Varun Sood 83 (51b, 8x4, 4x6), Shahbaz Nadeem b Nehra 25 (23b, 4x4), A. Mithun c Nehra b Awana 1 (3b), Umesh Yadav c and b Nehra 0 (5b), Sandeep Warrier (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (in 40.1 overs): 230.
Fall of wickets: 1-26 (Uthappa), 2-36 (Patel), 3-59 (Jadhav), 4-59 (Pathan), 5-101 (Jaggi), 6-156 (Mukund), 7-213 (Nadeem), 8-229 (Mann), 9-230 (Umesh).
Delhi bowling: Nehra 9-0-38-4, Suyal 10-0-59-0, Awana 6.1-1-30-1, Sood 12-1-84-5, Milind 3-0-17-0.