Just when Uttarakhand had reasons to believe it had done enough to seal the last quarterfinal spot in Vijay Hazare Trophy, Delhi’s seventh-wicket pair of Anuj Rawat and skipper Pradeep Sangwan produced an electrifying unbeaten 143-run stand to snatch it away on Sunday.
Looking down and almost out, Delhi owed its dramatic revival to Rawat (95 not out, 85b, 7×4, 6×6) and Sangwan (58 not out, 49b, 6×4, 2×6) who turned the match on its head in the space of 16 overs and took the host home with nine deliveries to spare at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The victory gave Delhi a place in the quarterfinals against Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
Staring at defeat
After being reduced to 146 for six in 32.3 overs in its chase of 288 — with Nitish Rana out for 81 (88b, 10×4, 1×6) — Delhi was staring at defeat. Till this stage, Uttarakhand appeared a worthy winner.
Barring the last 16 overs, Uttarakhand proved that it was neither intimidated by Delhi’s reputation nor the quality of its resources.
The visiting team started the innings with flair and ended with a flourish. Left-handed Kamal Singh (77, 83b, 11×4, 1×6) and Jay Bista (31, 29b, 4×4) gave a 88-run start in 13.5 overs by taking on new-ball bowlers Kulwant Khejrolia and Simarjeet Singh.
Kunal Chandela (62, 83b, 6×4), who played a stellar role in Delhi reaching the Ranji Trophy final in the 2017-18 season, punished his former teammates while providing mid-innings solidity.
After Delhi pulled Uttarakhand back through Nitish Rana (2/40) and Lalit Yadav (2/27), it was Saurabh Rawat (44, 23b, 4×4, 3×6) who provided the last-over flourish for Uttarakhand. Off left-arm medium pacer Sangwan, Rawat hit 24 runs off five deliveries — 6, 6, 4, 6, 2 — before being yorked.
The scores: Uttarakhand 287/8 in 50 overs (Kamal Singh 77, Kunal Chandela 62, Saurabh Rawat 44) lost to Delhi 289 for six in 48.3 overs (Anuj Rawat 95 n.o., Nitish Rana 81, Pradeep Sangwan 58 n.o.).
Monday’s fixtures (quarterfinals): Gujarat v Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka v Kerala.