Opening batsman Dhruv Kaushik, who was part of the Delhi under-25 side last season but didn’t get to play a match, pulverised Collage Sports Club as he hammered 10 sixes and 13 fours on way to 160 off 121 balls to take his team Sporting Cricket Club to a massive 101-run win in the 46th Lala Raghubir Singh Hot Weather Cricket on Sunday. With this, Sporting qualified for the semi-finals.
Collage, who were boosted by the entry of hard-hitter Abdus Samad, part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise this season, were never really in the game as they could make only 229 in response to 330/6 scored by Sporting Club.
“Today, we thought of bowling after winning the toss but we lost the toss and had to bat. So, the idea was to score as big a target as we could. We lost one wicket at the start and then thought of building a big partnership. Then we built another partnership. Many of our top players did well. Our bowling was good too,” said Kaushik, who went on the offensive right from the start.
The bowling side conceded boundary balls on a perfect batting strip. Kaushik and fellow opener and skipper Vikas Solanki (32) cashed in on it. When the first wicket fell in the 11th over, they were already 88.
“Powerplay was good and we thought of taking the innings long and deep. I waited for loose balls and hoped that I will hit them,” added Kaushik.
Fortunately, things rolled for him.
They didn’t lose any opportunity to let go of singles or doubles.
The 22-year-old Kaushik then shared good partnerships – of 119 runs with Aakash Antil (53 off 48) and 90 with Nitin Tanwar (59 off 32) before walking off retired hurt.
Tanwar blitzed to his fifty in 28 balls, scoring four sixes and three fours, to up the rate further and take the team beyond 300.
The Services all-rounder, who has represented Delhi at age-group levels, then took two wickets for 28 in eight overs to throttle Collage.
He got the wicket of No. 3 batsman Shiva Singh when the Uttar Pradesh batsman was looking to keep Collage in the game. He later returned to take another wicket.
Perhaps, the mistake that Collage made was sending Abdus Samad up the order to play his shots. He was lucky as he was dropped once and the ball fell short of a mid-on fielder on another occasion.
The hard-hitter had raced to 25 off 14 balls but soon ran out of luck and was caught at cover in the third over. Skipper Parmod Chandela fell soon before Shiva (15) and Vaibhav Rawal (38) constructed a partnership.
But after Shiva’s departure, Rawal too was dismissed, leg-before while trying to squeeze a single on the leg-side. The wickets kept falling after that. Only Ankit Dabas’s 71 and his eighth wicket partnership with Abhinandan Singh brought some respect to the score.