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Delhi?s sweet 16 sour Haryana

Delhi look all set to crush Haryana and bag full points, but they have no hope of qualifying for the knock-out, writes CS Luthra.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2007 23:23 IST

It was in the Railways’ backyard last season that Delhi, under Virender Sehwag, scored their only victory of the season to keep their place in the Elite group. This time around, Delhi look all set to crush Haryana on their home turf in Lahli and bag full points, but they have absolutely no hope of qualifying for the knock-out.

After finishing their first innings at 382 in the morning, Delhi took only 72.2 overs to push Haryana to the brink of humiliation, scalping 16 of their wickets at the draw of stumps. Haryana were 105 for six in their second innings after following on with a 269-run deficit.

The day started on a bad note for Delhi as their overnight batsman Chetnya Nanda lost his wicket on the fifth ball of the day. Rajat Bhatia, who was batting on an overnight score of 55, kept his composure till the very end before becoming the last Haryana victim at 90. Bhatia came in to bat when Delhi were 211 for four and single-handedly took Delhi to a respectable total.

Though he was unlucky to miss his third century of the season, he ended up as the highest run-getter for Delhi with 512 runs.

For Delhi, the day started with the news that skipper Sehwag was down with fever and would not be able to play again in the match. However, after consulting a local doctor, the captain came on to the field.

It was only after he took over the on-field responsibility from acting captain Mithun Manhas, that the Delhi bowlers started looking menacing. Sehwag didn’t allow any batsman to score easy runs. Even Amit Bhandari, who was struggling to get his rhythm back in the last two games after returning from a shoulder injury, bowled superb spells.

He started the Haryana slump, scalping three out of the four opening wickets. The only other wicket went to debutant Ashish Malhotra in the third ball of his Ranji career.

Though the wicket here looked easy for batting, the Haryana batsmen kept repeating the same mistakes even after the lunch break. As soon as Sehwag introduced the twin-spin attack, bringing in leggie Chetnya Nanda and himself, the hosts surrendered their first innings for just 113.

Only Sachin Rana displayed some grit to score 54 with the help of eight boundaries and a six.

Haryana kept repeating the mistakes in the second innings too. The only difference this time was that they chose the two Delhi spinners to donate their wickets.

At close of play, Haryana had lost six wickets with only 103 on the board. Nanda took four more in the second innings to finish the day with seven scalps, while Sehwag took his tally to four with two from the second.

A victory on Friday will only be a formality for Delhi, who will be notching their first win of the season. However, the bigger plot has already been lost.

Scoreboard

Delhi 1st innings 382

Haryana 1st innings 113: Saini c Bhatia b Bhandari 4, Sumit c Bisht b Bhandari 1, A Rawat b Malhotra 15, Bamel c Tehlan b Bhandari 1, Rana c Chopra b Nanda 54, Sandeep c Bhatia b Nanda 0, M Rawat b Nanda 3, Joginder b Sehwag 12, Mishra not out 3, Mann b Sehwag 1, Budhwar run out 0. Extras 19.

Fall of wkts: 1-2, 2-28, 3-28, 4-32, 5-38, 6-46, 7-82, 8-110, 9-111.

Bowling: Nehra 11-1-35-0, Bhandari 12-6-18-3, Malhotra 7-4-3-1, Nanda 11.2-2-36-3, Sehwag 6-3-6-2, Manhas 1-0-9-0.

Haryana 2nd innings: 105 for 6 Sumit c Chopra b Sehwag 16, Saini c Chopra b Nanda 13, A Rawat lbw b Nanda 2, Bamel c Tehlan b Sehwag 0, Rana b Nanda 20, Sandeep c Bisht b Nanda 20, Rawat batting 16, Joginder batting 6. Extras 12; Fall of wkts: 1-32, 2-34, 3-37, 4-42, 5-78, 6-86. Bowling: Bhandari 3-2-1-0, Nehra 1-0-2-0, Malhotra 2-0-11-0, Sehwag 9-2-37-2, Nanda 9-0-51-4.