Delhi registers a facile victory

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CRICKET / Punjab carves out a 98-run win over Services

MATCH-WINNING INNINGS:Milind Kumar's unbeaten 70 anchored Delhi to a fine win over Haryana on Wednesday.— Photo: S. Subramanium
MATCH-WINNING INNINGS:Milind Kumar's unbeaten 70 anchored Delhi to a fine win over Haryana on Wednesday.— Photo: S. Subramanium

The North Zone qualification scenario for the Vijay Hazare Trophy achieved clarity on a day when Delhi and Punjab were the biggest gainers.

While the former knocked Haryana out of contention with a facile six-wicket success at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, the latter almost confirmed progress to the tournament’s final stage thanks to a 98-run win over Services at Palam.

With the final round of games to be played on Thursday, Punjab, Delhi and Services are tied on 12 points. While Punjab will play Himachal Pradesh, the other two will meet each other in a winner-takes-all contest. Among the three, Punjab has the best net run rate.

Mandeep Singh’s 96-ball 83 ensured Punjab posted a competitive total of 232 and later, Siddarth Kaul wrecked Services’ batting line-up. The youngster finished with figures of 6.2-1-14-4.

Put in to bat, Haryana’s batsmen failed to establish themselves on a sluggish track. There were two changes to its squad — Bhupinder Lingwal and Guntashveer Singh replaced Jayant Yadav and Abhimanyu Khod. Delhi made as many alterations too as Sumit Narwal and Pawan Negi took Parvinder Awana and Yogesh Nagar’s places.

Quick strikes

The team changes proved crucial for both sides. After Haryana had reached 49 for no loss in 10 overs, Narwal struck off consecutive deliveries to remove Avi Barot and Guntashveer. While skipper Rahul Dewan, though he was dropped twice, fought at one end to score a determined 49, wickets tumbled at the other and the run rate dropped.

Only 16 runs came off the next 10 overs and eventually Dewan’s resistance gave way to leave his side six down for 109.

However, an unbeaten 91-run partnership off 109 balls between Lingwal and Sonu Rathi rescued Haryana.

In reply, Delhi lost Unmukt Chand for a first-ball duck. Gautam Gambhir and Jagrit Anand departed soon after to leave the side 41 for three in 11.2 overs.

But Mithun Manhas and Milind Kumar added 96 for the fourth-wicket in the next 126 deliveries to lay the platform for a win.

Both hit some pristine shots down the wicket to earn their boundaries.

While Manhas scored 68 off just 74 deliveries, Milind took 106 delivers to score two more than the former. This was Milind’s second fifty in as many matches.

The scores:

Haryana 200 for six in 50 overs (Rahul Dewan 49, Bhupinder Lingwal 51 n.o, Sonu Rathi 39 n.o) lost to Delhi 203 for four in 46.1 overs (Mithun Manhas 68, Milind Kumar 70 n.o, Punit Bisht 26 n.o). Points: Delhi 4, Haryana 0.

Punjab 232 for nine in 50 overs (Sunny Sohal 43, Mandeep Singh 83, Taruwar Kohli 38, Abhishek Sakuja three for 45) bt Services 134 in 37.2 overs (Nakul Verma 41, Rajat Paliwal 25, Siddarth Kaul four for 14, Gurinder Singh three for 32). Punjab 4, Services 0.

Himachal Pradesh 229 in 49.4 overs (Paras Dogra 25, Nikhil Gangta 99, Rishi Dhawan 45) bt Jammu and Kashmir 180 in 43 overs (Parveez Rasool 28, Aditya Singh 29, Bandeep Singh 43). HP 4, J & K 0 .

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