Captain Himmat Singh’s 194 and fighting show from the bowlers, led by paceman Himanshu Chauhan, helped Delhi snatch an eight-run victory from jaws of defeat in their Ranji Trophy encounter against Uttarakhand in Mohali.
This was Delhi’s first win in four matches this season.
The right-handed Himmat came into bat on the third day with the team three down for no run after Delhiite Deepak Dhapola, with whom Himmat had played a lot during younger days in the Capital, claiming a hat-trick for the hill state.
Delhi, who had made 147 and conceded a 92-run lead to their opponents (239), were then reduced to 11 for five wickets.
“When I walked in, we were already three down for nothing. Dhapola had taken a hat-trick (Delhi were soon 11 for five with him at the other end). I thought the only way to bat in this situation was to play attacking game,” said Himmat, who was supported by wicketkeeper-batsman Lakshay Thareja (43) as the duo added 182 for the sixth wicket.
Himmat hit 27 fours and a six in his 217-ball stay.
Delhi eventually ended their second innings at 264/9 with the last man Navdeep Saini unable to bat after he had suffered injury while bowling in first innings.
Uttarakhand, faced with a target of 173, were bowled out for 165 in 79.3 overs with Chauhan taking 5/39 in 25 overs.
Hrithik Shokeen, playing as the lone specialist spinner, took three wickets for 81.
Delhi had to bowl without the injured Saini.
“The bowlers bowled their heart out. When we walked onto the field to defend the target, we were all pumped up and wanted to win desperately.”
The win was necessary for Delhi as it helped them move up from the bottom place. They are now seventh out of eight teams in Group D with seven points.
Delhi went down to Puducherry in the first match in Delhi, drew the second match against Jammu and Kashmir in Jammu, and lost the third match to Madhya Pradesh in Indore.
Even though Delhi finally managed to win, the batting looks susceptible. Some questionable decisions were taken ahead of the game against Uttarakhand like dropping middle-order batsman Ayush Badoni, who was one of the few in-form batsmen.
That apart, senior pace bowler Ishant Sharma has been sitting out of away matches leaving the Delhi pace attack thin.
Brief scores: Delhi 147 (Yash Dhull 47) and 264/9 (Himmat Singh 194) beat Uttarakhand 239 (Aditya Tare 83, Navdeep Saini 4/57, Hrithik Shokeen 3/57) and 165 (Himanshu Chauhan 5/39, Hrithik Shokeen 3/81)