There was only a formality to be completed before Delhi could start celebrating their first win of the season here on Friday. For Haryana, there were other key issues bothering them than the humiliation in their backyard.
Despite the selection committee set to announce the team for two ODIs against the West Indies and the 30 probables for the World Cup, the focus of the entire Haryana squad was on their Ranji Trophy status for the next season.
With just seven points so far this season, they were only interested in knowing the latest score in the Baroda-Tamil Nadu match.
Ever since the news that Tamil Nadu had taken a first innings lead with four batsmen still remaining, the fear of relegation became intense in the Haryana dressing room.
Knowing well that another team at the bottom, Uttar Pradesh, had almost left them behind in the points table, it was important for the hosts that Tamil Nadu did not win their match outright, if they had to save their place in the Elite Group.
On field, it took just 126 minutes on the day for their current miseries to end, with the dismissal of last Haryana batsman Mahesh Rawat.
The 146 runs scored on Friday were in vain for the hosts as an innings and 18 run loss beat them down. Though runs were scored at a high rate on Friday, it was more due to the fact that there was hardly a chance for Haryana to avoid the inevitable.
Rawat top-scored with 73 while Joginder chipped in with 44, before Delhi spinners Chetanya Nanda (six for 112) and Virender Sehwag (four for 63) completed the rout. Even when both Haryana batsmen were using the long handle to punish Delhi, Sehwag did not use his remaining bowling options.
Nanda should be thankful to his skipper for showing so much faith in him after a relatively poor show throughout the season. But more than his bowling, it was the bad approach of Haryana batsmen that helped his cause.
Now that the season is over, there is a need for through introspection on part of the Delhi players and selectors. For the last three seasons, Delhi have been fighting relegation in their very last match. And it would be unfair to blame only the players for this pathetic state of affairs.
There is an urgent need to make the selectors accountable for their deeds. In the entire season, Delhi's chairman of selectors Atul Wasan could spare only one hour to watch them — apart from a couple of days in the commentators’ box — and that too only to say hello to Sehwag in Rohtak!
Delhi 1st innings: 382
Haryana 1st innings: 113
Haryana 2nd innings: S Sharma c Chopra b Sehwag 16, N Saini c Chopra b Nanda 13, A Rawat lbw Nanda 2, S Bamel c Tehlan b Sehwag 0, S Rana b Nanda 20, S Singh c Bisht b Nanda 20, M Rawat c Nanda b Sehwag 73, J Sharma c Bhandari b Sehwag 44, A Mishra b Nanda 0, T Mann c Sehwag b Nanda 24, S Budhwar not out 15, Extras (lb-4, nb-20) 24, Total (all out; 59.2 overs) 251.
Fall of wkts: 1-32 2-34 3-37 4-42 5-78 6-86 7-166 8-169 9-226. Bowling: A Bhandari 5-2-9-0, A Nehra 1-0-2-0, A Malhotra 2-0-11-0, V Sehwag 20.2-6-63-4, C Nanda 25-2-112-6, M Manhas 4-0-16-0, G Gambhir 1-0-21-0, R Bhatia 1-0-13-0.