After the wake-up call on Sunday, when they managed to pull off a last-ball win against Haryana, Delhi had it easy against the Services on Monday.
Chasing 125, Delhi achieved the target in the 17th over with nine wickets to spare, and became the first team from the North Zone to qualify for the knockout stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, winning all their matches.
Delhi openers Chetan Sharma and Punit Bisht started confidently as they added 47 for the first wicket. Bisht, who was the only batsman to get out, hit five boundaries in his knock of 24. His dismissal brought Mithun Manhas to the crease and along with Sharma, the skipper notched up the remaining runs. Sharma scored 65, which included seven boundaries and a six while Manhas made a run-a-ball 33.
Delhi were also helped by some ordinary fielding from the Services.
Earlier, after winning the toss, Delhi put the Services in. Their openers gave them a good start by adding 47 runs. The middle order, however, failed to capitalise on the platform and wickets fell at regular intervals. Kapil Yadav was the highest wickettaker with three scalps.
It was a late flourish from Ritesh Negi (21*) which took the Services past the 120-run mark.
Delhi coach, Manoj Prabhakar, praised his boys. "We played well today and it is good that we managed to win all the matches despite not having a full-strength side."
The other team to qualify for the knockout stage was Haryana. Even though they lost to Himachal Pradesh on Monday by nine wickets, Haryana progressed on the basis of a better net run rate.
Opting to bat, Haryana were under pressure straight away as half the side was back in the pavilion by the 11th over with just 51 on the board. Bowling in the right areas, Ashok Thakur and Kuldeep Dewan shared five wickets between them. None of the Haryana batsmen looked comfortable and they managed just 109.
In reply, Himachal openers Sangaram Singh (58*) and Manvinder Bisla (38) enjoyed a partnership of 92 and ensured their team won without hiccups.
Haryana went through on the basis of their superior run rate vis-à-vis the Services, who had the same number of wins.