Dhruv Shorey then slammed an unbeaten 59 as Delhi raced to 154 for 3 with 18 deliveries to spare. © Dhruv Shorey

Dhruv Shorey then slammed an unbeaten 59 as Delhi raced to 154 for 3 with 18 deliveries to spare. © Dhruv Shorey

Delhi registered their first win of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy all-India Twenty20 tournament, while Punjab eased to an eight-wicket win over Services in the North Zone leg of the tournament on Wednesday (January 10).

Delhi v Haryana

Subodh Bhati celebrated his return to the playing XI with 3 for 25 as Delhi registered their first win of the tournament.

Bhati, the right-arm medium pacer, was primarily responsible in Haryana frittering a promising start and settling for 153 for 6 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. Dhruv Shorey then slammed an unbeaten 59 as Delhi raced to 154 for 3 with 18 deliveries to spare, completing a comprehensive seven-wicket win.

Put in by Pradeep Sangwan, Haryana suffered an early setback in the form of Harshal Patel, but Shubham Rohilla and Chaitanya Bishnoi drove them forward with a second-wicket stand of 88. Lalit Yadav’s run out of Rohilla for 44 provided just the opening Delhi were looking for and Bhati then stepped in to destroy the middle order.

After having Bishnoi caught behind for a measured 65, off 56 deliveries, Bhati put a lid on the scoring too that yielded more success. Despite a promising platform, Haryana managed only 44 runs in the last five overs.

Rishabh Pant fell in the second over of the chase and Delhi slid to 50 for 2 when Gautam Gambhir was trapped in front by Ashish Hooda, but Shorey and Nitish Rana eased the nerves with a stand of 82. Rana was the more enterprising, smacking two fours and as many sixes in making 39 off 26, while Shorey stayed on till the end, finishing on 59 off 44 deliveries with two fours and four sixes as Delhi won in a canter.

Mandeep Singh's unbeaten 84 guided Punjab to a eight-wicket win over Services. © BCCI

Mandeep Singh’s unbeaten 84 guided Punjab to a eight-wicket win over Services. © BCCI

Services v Punjab

Mandeep Singh sent the Services bowlers on a leather hunt at the Feroz Shah Kotla as he flashed his way to an unbeaten 84 to guide Punjab to their second successive win. Keeping Mandeep company was Yuvraj Singh, who cruised to an unbeaten 35 from as many balls.

Fresh from their narrow win over Delhi on Tuesday, Punjab put on yet another professional show to register an eight-wicket win. While Mandeep’s 56-ball innings, studded with ten fours and a couple of sixes, caught the eye in the run chase, it was Manpreet Gony’s figures of 4 for 18 from 4 overs, including 16 dot balls, that set the tone for Punjab.

The paceman’s effort helped Punjab bowl Services out for 140, a score that was realised mainly because of Amit Pacchara’s 37. Nakul Verma (21) and Vikas Hathwala (25) were the others who contributed with cameos, but it was never going to be enough.

Punjab reached 141 with five balls to spare in the innings. Though the task turned out to be easy in the end, it wasn’t so when Punjab’s innings get under way. Manan Vohra fell in the third over and Anmolpreet Singh (17) became Diwesh Gurdev Pathania’s second victim. Thereon, Mandeep and Yuvraj controlled proceedings with a 76-run stand.