In an inconsequential match as both the teams were already out of race to semi-finals, Delhi Challengers (DC) scored a thrilling two-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals Bal Bhawan in the last league match of the Lala Raghubir Singh Hot Weather Cricket Tournament at the Modern school grounds on Saturday.
The match, though a dead rubber, witnessed over 700 runs as DC rode on left-handed opener Pratham Singh’s 133 off 93 deliveries (15x4s, 4x6s) to win with two balls to spare in the final over.
After losing star batsman Tanmay Agarwal early – when the score was 17 – Pratham added 230 runs for the third wicket with Parth Jain (85) to put the team on course to victory in chase of 358.
The Indian Railways first-class player, who was with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL last season but didn’t get to play a match, was participating in this tournament for the first time after Covid.
“The wicket is really good to bat on, the side boundaries are very small. These are very good batting conditions and I should have stayed till the end and finished the game. But I enjoyed my innings because I was batting here after a very long time. Initially, I took a bit of time. After that I was able to hit well,” said Pratham, who is pursuing a degree in MBA at Indian School of Business, which offers a place or two for sportspersons every year in its pursuit of bringing diversity to the classroom.
Ex-hockey international Viren Rasquinha and international shuttler Ajay Jayaram are two of the others who have done MBA from ISB being representatives from the field of sports.
“People usually tend to look at the square boundaries because they are shorter but I was targeting straight because the percentage of risk is lower if you are hitting straight on a placid wicket. That was really helpful in my innings,” added Pratham.
Only one of his boundaries came towards mid-wicket and that too was mistimed. He, however, applied the cut shot to good effect.
Skipper Shivam Sharma, batting at No. 6, scored unbeaten 58 off 29 deliveries to see the team through as he carried DC through nervous moments and hit boundaries to ease the pressure. He hit four sixes and six fours as the team chased 13 in the last over reaching 359/8 in 39.4 overs.
Earlier, DC Bal Bhawan had scored 358/4 with 19-year-old opener Aditya Chaudhary scoring 119 off 92 balls (11x4s, 5x6s). Chaudhary added 155 with No. 3 Yugal Saini (87 off 73, 14x4s). Skipper Mayank Rawat chipped in with 65 off 34 balls (5x4s, 4x6s) while Kshitiz Sharma (33 off 15) and Aman Jainwal (24 off 10) provided late impetus.
“I tried to stay at the wicket for as long as possible since it was a good wicket to bat on and we milked runs with ease,” said Chaudhary, who represented Delhi under-19s last season.
Chaudhary hit two sixes over cover and two over mid-wicket.
Carpediem India will now play Sporting Club in the first semi-final and Goat XI will face Rann Star in the second semi-final.