Delhi defeated Jharkhand by 94 runs in Lahli (Haryana) in their last league match to advance to the pre-quarterfinal stage of the BCCI men’s under-25 tournament.
After being put into bat on a pitch that is known to help seam bowlers, Delhi was restricted to 209/9 in 50 overs.
No. 3 batsman Vaibhav Kandpal top-scored with 64 off 84 deliveries and shared a 68-run second wicket partnership with opener Sanat Sangwan. However, Jharkhand struck back taking five wickets in the space of 26 runs as Delhi were reduced to 99 for six.
When Kandpal was dismissed with a score of 124, Delhi was staring down the barrel. But No. 8 Sumit Mathur (27 off 57) and No. 9 Divij Mehra (39 off 42) added 68 runs for the eighth to take the team to 192.
“Since the match was in Lahli, which is historically bowler-friendly, the pitch was wet and the ball was seaming. My plan was to hold one end up and anchor the innings. All we wanted was to reach a respectable total,” Kandpal told Patriot after the match.
“We knew that the pitch is difficult and we could defend . The ball was seaming so it was difficult to bat. Our pacers applied early pressure,” added the batsman, who scored 248 runs at an average of 49.60 in six group stage games with two half-centuries.
Jharkhand lost the first wicket in the fifth over when the total was only 17. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and by the time the first 15 overs were done, the team had already lost four wickets and crossed just 50.
Delhi kept the pressure as off-spinners Digvesh Rathi (2/11), Mayank Rawat (2/10) and Ayush Badoni (3/9) shared seven wickets and built on the start seamers Harshit Rana (1/42), Divij Mehra (2/24) and Saurav Dagar (0/10 in four overs) had given.
Jharkhand folded for 115 in 41.3 overs.
Delhi being one of the second-placed teams made it to the pre-quarterfinal stage as Group C runner-up (with 16 points) behind Bengal (24 points).
While the toppers from all five groups – Saurashtra, Mumbai, Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab — have moved straight into the quarter-finals, the runners-up – Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Railways and Gujarat as well as the best third-placed team (Tamil Nadu) across groups have to play the pre-quarterfinals.
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