Cricket

Delhi finishes atop the table

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Rishabh Pant continues his heroics with the bat

NEW DELHI: While Delhi and Services battled it out in the middle on the last day of the North Zone matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Tuesday, one team would have been following the proceedings with as much concentration.

Punjab’s progress to the knock-out stages depended on Delhi’s victory and the host’s duly obliged, winning by 22 runs to finish on top of the table and, in the process, ensuring a second-place finish for Punjab.

Delhi was assured of a spot in the next round while Services would have sneaked in ahead of Punjab on better run rate. As it was, however, set 226 for an improbable win — the highest total by any team this season across zones —Services could only manage a fighting 203 to finish third.

Rishabh Pant continued his heroics with the bat (32-ball 64) but Tuesday’s innings was far more sedate than his previous one. He played more through the gaps, grounded his shots and left some of the good deliveries alone. That didn’t stop him from racing to his half-century in 22 balls, though, bringing up the 50 with a perfectly-placed boundary through cover off Nakul Yadav.

The previous delivery had also been a four, straight down the ground, and the next one rushed through backward square leg for four more.

Pant was stroking freely, hardly appearing to put any effort into some of his boundaries that fell short of the rope by inches and looked set for yet another 100 before playing across the line and getting caught at long on.

Services managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals but could not stem the run flow as Delhi’s middle and lower order batsmen scored handy but quickfire 20s.

In reply, Ravi Chauhan and Aanshul Gupta gave it a quick start despite losing opener Nakul Verma in the first over and, till Chauhan was at the crease, the scoring kept pace with the required rate. Both fell in a single over to Kulwant Khejroliya — Aanshul caught behind and Chauhan bowled — and Services ended up playing catch-up since. There were valiant attempts towards the end but with wickets falling, Delhi always had the upper hand.

Delhi had a minor concern when Pant had to walk off the field after being hit by a direct throw while fielding, with Nitish Rana replacing him behind the stumps but is expected to be fit for the upcoming games.

The scores:

Delhi 225 for eight in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 64, Nitish Rana 30, Pradeep Sangwan 29, Dhruv Shorey 25, Sarthak Ranjan 25, Nakul Yadav three for 53, Nitin Tanwar two for 28) bt Services 203 in 19.1 overs (Ravi Chauhan 53, Nakul Sharma 53, Vikas Hathwala 36, Kulwant Khejroliya three for 38, Pradeep Sangwan two for 42, Vikas Tokas two for 36).

Points: Delhi 4; Services 0.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:24:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/delhi-finishes-atop-the-table/article22450618.ece

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