Skipper Rounak Waghela displayed all-round performance to help Delhi under-16s thrash Himachal Pradesh by 428 runs in the pre-quarterfinals of the Vijay Merchant Trophy played in Chennai.
The win earned Delhi a quarter-final match-up against arch-rivals Mumbai from January 3. That game will also be played in Chennai.
Batting first, Delhi made 326 which seemed below par but eventually proved to be enough.
The total was built on two centuries – opener Arnav Bugga’s 154 and skipper Waghela’s 106.
Delhi were struggling at 114/5 at one stage and were in danger of being bowled out. But Waghela joined forces with Bugga and added 133 for the sixth wicket to take the team to 247 before Bugga was dismissed. Waghela stayed on and took Delhi past 300. He was the ninth batsman dismissed with the total on 324.
“It was a batting wicket. So initially, we thought we could have gone on to make a bigger score than we eventually did. But when we got them all out and took a sizeable lead, we realised that we had made enough runs on the board. We decided to push for victory,” said Waghela to Patriot from Chennai.
Delhi bowled out Himachal for 168 to take a 158-run lead. Waghela was again the star with the ball as he took six wickets for 36 runs in 21 overs.
In the second innings, batsmen Sachin and Anindo scored centuries, 103 and 101 respectively, as Delhi made 344/6 to set a 503-run target for Himachal.
Delhi’s Vivaan Jindal then took five wickets for four runs in seven overs while Waghela and pacer Pranav Pant took two wickets each as Himachal were skittled out for a paltry 74.
“It is a great achievement for me and the team and if we keep performing well, we can keep moving forward,” added the 15-year-old Waghela who had earlier in the season represented the Delhi under-19s.
Waghela, after finishing his Delhi under-19s assignment on December 20th was flown straight to Vadodara for the last Delhi under-16s group game, against Chhattisgarh, that had commenced on December 21.
Delhi under-19s had failed to advance in the Cooch Behar Trophy.
“I gained a lot confidence and experience by playing under-19s. I played with older and senior players. It was always in the plans that I would fly to join under-16 team,” added Waghela.
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