Delhi under-19 team’s lower order put up a brave show in the second innings in pursuit of a 370-run target but failed to chase it down as Rajasthan entered the Cooch Behar Trophy semi-finals thanks to a crucial first-innings lead at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds of Arun Jaitley Stadium, on Tuesday.
Delhi had put up a miserable show in the first innings of the quarter-final game as they folded for just 177 on the second day of the four-day game, conceding a crucial 23-run lead. The poor show with the bat had wasted pace bowler Raghav Singh’s effort. Raghav had picked seven wickets for 57 runs to run through Rajasthan batting in the first innings.
In their second turn, Rajasthan built on the slender lead and scored 346 runs before being all out. Raghav was again the pick of the bowlers taking 4/130 while spinner Rounak Waghela scalped three for 73. That gave Delhi a 370-run target in 80 overs on the last day.
“We qualified for the knockout stage after five years in Vinoo Mankad cricket and Cooch Behar cricket. The fact that we made it to the quarterfinals means that we are among the top eight teams in the country. I feel we were a bit unlucky as our batting collapsed in the first innings and we couldn’t go beyond 200 to take lead. We missed Arpit Rana, our successful opener this season who did not play due to injury. That made our batting a bit weak. Also, there was a moment when a Rajasthan batsman who made 143, he was dismissed off a no ball when he was on 60,” says Jaswant Rai, the Coach of Delhi under-19 team.
The start for Delhi in the second essay on Tuesday was bright but in trying to score runs quickly, they kept losing wickets. They had scored 29 in the first three overs but also lost two wickets.
Soon skipper Hardik Sharma fell but Rushal Saini (37) and Kavya Gupta (60) added 77 for the fourth wicket to keep Delhi in the game. A flurry of wickets dashed Delhi’s hopes.
But a late flicker emerged in the form of pace bowler Raghav (50 not out off 50 balls), who used the long handle and added an unbeaten 97 for the eighth wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Krish Yadav (67 not out).
Raghav hit four sixes and was threatening to take the fight to the opposition camp before bad light ended play 12 overs prior to scheduled finish.
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