Early B’day gift for Bhatia as Delhi advance
The Delhi camp wore an anxious look as Punjab had a sniff of victory. All eyes were focussed on their man for a crisis — Rajat Bhatia. Needing 60-odd runs in the last six overs, which didn’t look easy given how runs had dried to a trickle in the preceding overs, the cool and composed Bhatia churned out another match-winning cameo to help Delhi to a five-wicket win over Punjab, reports Subhash Rajta.cricket Updated: Oct 22, 2009 00:45 IST
The Delhi camp wore an anxious look as Punjab had a sniff of victory. All eyes were focussed on their man for a crisis — Rajat Bhatia. Needing 60-odd runs in the last six overs, which didn’t look easy given how runs had dried to a trickle in the preceding overs, the cool and composed Bhatia churned out another match-winning cameo to help Delhi to a five-wicket win over Punjab.
Punjab, despite a modest total of 136, had things under control before Bhatia and Joginder Singh exploded. Delhi lost Shikhar Dhawan early, and the blow saw them failing to make use of the field restrictions. Two more wickets — Farman Ahmad and Puneet Bisht — in quick succession made the situation look grimmer.
Aakash Chopra and Bhatia shared a small stand to repair the innings, but the required run rate had begun to rise rapidly. Narwal, who came in after Chopra fell for 22, smashed a couple of blows to get the momentum back, and then Bhatia, well supported by Joginder Singh (24), launched the final assault.
Prior to that, Bhatia, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, played his part with the ball as well. The Punjab openers — Sunny Sohal and Ravi Inder Singh — had laid down foundation for a huge total with a 75-run stand. However, things went off the track after Sohal’s dismissal.
Haryana beat Himachal by 10 runs to keep themselves afloat after their loss in the opening game.
Brief scores: Haryana: 146 for 6 (Ankit Rawat 56; Jitender Mehta 2 for 29); Himachal 136 for 7 (Abhinav Bali 54, Jitender Billa 3 for 31).
J&K have it easy
J&K strolled to a nine-wicket victory over Services. Chasing 127, J&K didn’t break a sweat as they cruised home.
Brief scores: J&K: 127 for 9 (Mumtaz Qadir 51, Samiullah 3 for 15); J&K: 128 for 1 in 19.1 overs (Manvinder Bisla 75no, Hiken Shah 25).
Monish stars in win
Monish Mishra struck 84 off just 37 balls to help Madhya Pradesh crush Vidarbha by six wickets in Indore.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 163/6 in 20 overs (A Naidu 55, S Shrivastava 44, A Ubarhande 25, A Rajan 2/41) lost to MP 164/6 in 17.3 overs (M Mishra 84, N Jalaj Saxena 24, Abbas Ali 24).
Mumbai drub Gujarat
Mumbai romped to a seven-wicket win over Gujarat in Pune. In another match, Maharashtra beat Saurashtra by two wickets.
Brief scores: Gujarat 160 for 7 (J Desai 41; P Valthaty 2-23) lost to Mumbai 161 for 3 in 18.3 overs (R Sharma 43).
Aziz the hero
Parvez Aziz clattered 74 to lead Assam to an upset win against Bengal at Dhanbad. In another match, Orissa beat Tripura by 65 runs.
Brief scores: Assam 157/5 (P. Aziz 74, S. Lahiri 3/20) vs Bengal 122 in 17.4 ovs (W. Saha 40, D. Goswami 3/19.