Rajat Bhatia was on the field until quite late on Monday night, helping the Delhi Daredevils secure a consolation win in the Champions League. On Tuesday morning, the reliable Delhi all-rounder, turned up for his state team to help it get off to a rollicking victory against J&K in the T20 Inter-state tournament.
Not that Delhi would have struggled to put it across J&K in his absence, but his last-minute induction into the squad just made it easier for Delhi. He struck a quickfire 42 to set up a total of 167, and then rolled his arm over to pick up two wickets to rock J&K's top order.
But before the Bhatia show begun, the Delhi opening pair — Shikhar Dhawan and Farman Ahmad — laid the foundation of Delhi's victory with a solid 80-run partnership. Ahmad, the debutant, looked quite compact and fluent until he offered a simple catch to short midwicket.
Dhawan, however, was moving in top gear, smashing the bowlers to all corners of the park. He duly completed his half-century, and looked for set for much more when he fell for well-made 58.
His fall slowed down the momentum a bit and Aakash Chopra's subsequent run out made things look slightly difficult for Delhi. That's when Bhatia and Mayank Tehlan shifted gears.
The J&K chase never gathered any momentum as wickets fell quite frequently. Bhatia rocked the top, and Pradeep Sangwan and Yogesh Nagar shared five wickets.