Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | Delhi crushes Pondicherry

Pondicherry couldn’t end its Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign on a high as it suffered a crushing 110-run loss against Delhi in their final Group E tie on Tuesday.

With neither team being in contention for the quarterfinals, Delhi preferred to rest its regulars, including captain Shikhar Dhawan and speedster Ishant Sharma, and gave virtually everyone on the bench game-time. But even a second-string Delhi outfit proved too hot to handle for Pondicherry at the Bandra-Kurla Complex facility.

Despite Ashith Rajiv striking twice in as many balls in the first over, Himmat Singh’s fifty (53, 42b, 4x4, 2x6) helped Delhi resurrect its innings. Kshitiz Sharma (65 n.o., 34b, 6x4, 3x6) and Lalit Yadav (36 n.o., 19b, 5x4, 1x6) then put the game beyond Pondicherry with an unbroken 82-run partnership in the last six overs to ensure Delhi piled on a stiff 192 for five.

In reply, offspinner Shivank Vashisht (four for 9) led the way as Delhi bundled Pondicherry out for a paltry 82. The fact that no Pondicherry batsman could tally even 15 runs speaks volumes about its inability to make a match of it.

Pondicherry’s batting revolves around professionals Sheldon Jackson and Paras Dogra. But once Vashisht dismissed them off successive deliveries in the eighth over — after left-armer Pawan Suyal had struck twice in the PowerPlay — the Pondicherry lower order surrendered meekly.

Delhi finished with 12 points from five games, while Pondicherry had eight, thanks to its stunning wins over Mumbai and Andhra.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 4:26:17 AM |

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