Delhi wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht has seen it all this season. Not included in the Twenty20 squad initially, he has fought back to become a key member. He also bagged an IPL contract with the Delhi Daredevils.
On Wednesday, he underlined his progress to help Delhi thrash Punjab by 135 runs in their second game of the North Zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament at the Ferozshah Kotla ground.
Bisht's 73 (7X4) (2X6) not only rescued Delhi from 42 for 3 but ensured they earned their second bonus point.Punjab skipper Harbhajan Singh's decision to field first bore fruit in the first over when medium pacer Siddharth Kaul bowled opener Unmukt Chand. Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged leg before and one-drop Manan Sharma, the only change from the last game against Jammu and Kashmir, also failed.
Former skipper Mithun Manhas and Bisht rode their luck to revive the innings. Manhas was dropped thrice before scoring 60 while Bisht got a life on 1.
Delhi had scored just 65 at the half way mark but a quick fire fifty from skipper Rajat Bhatia and a late cameo from Yogesh Nagar helped post a challenging score.
"It was not an easy wicket, but we ensured we had wickets in hand so that we could launch in the last ten overs," said Bisht after the match.
Harbhajan, on a comeback after injury, was economical but went wicketless for the second consecutive game.
Delhi paceman Parwinder Awana jolted Punjab early, dismissing openers Uday Kaul and Karan Goel and then Gurkirat Alhuwalia.
Harbhajan was the only batsman to cross the 30-run mark but was caught at long on trying to hit Manhas. Spinner Varun Sood then picked up the last three wickets.