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Delhi lift Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in style

26th January 2018
Delhi beat Rajasthan comprehensively by 41 runs to lift their first Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the majestic Eden Gardens here today.
Delhi won the toss and elected to bat. They finished with 153 for six. In reply Rajasthan could muster only 112 runs in reply before being bundled out in 19.1 overs. The winners’ trophy was handed over by CAB Jt. Secretary Avishek Dalmiya. The MOM Cheque was given by CAB Vice-President Samar Pal to Delhi skipper Pradeep Sangwan.
Rajasthan’s charge was led by young Aditya Garhwal amid slow sedate batting from his partners. Ankit kept Rajasthan in the match scoring steadily as partners Ankit Lamba and Salman Khan went cheaply and with too many dot balls in their kitty. He cut and slashed the spinners and drove and pulled the pacers to reach his 50 off 31 balls creaming seven balls to the fence.
With the asking rate reaching 9 runs per over, Aditya tried to free his arms to a ball from Lalit Yadav that stopped and rose on him. He pulled straight down the throat of Nitish at long on to depart for 52.
Mahipal Lomror came into his elements after Aditya departed and in company of Tejinder Dhillon tried to push the score. But Dhillon (7) and Lomror (17) departed in successive overs to plunge Rajasthan in further misery. Chetan Bisht was out hit wicket trying to fend off a Khejrolia bouncer, who a ball earlier had claimed Lomror with another perfume delivery. With six down for 94 and six overs remaining, the game looked all but over.
Skipper Pradeep Sangwan with 2 for 14, Kulwant Khejroliya 2 for 24 and Pawan Negi 2 for 21 kept chipping away at the batting lineup ensuring a facile Delhi victory.
Earlier, choosing to bat first Delhi openers Gautam Gambhir and Rishabh Pant gave the team brisk start. Gambhir, who had a miserable tournament so far, showed glimpses of his vintage self racing to a fluent 27 laced with 4 boundaries and a six before being flummoxed by the young leggie Rahul Chahar.

Gambhir was gone in the last over of the fifth over, and in the first ball of the sixth Khaleel Ahmed returned Rishab Pant to one that rose awkwardly and induced a top edge to be caught by the keeper.
With 2 down for 41, Dhruv Shorey and Unmukt Chand build a vital 48-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. They struck big shots in tandem to dominate the Team Rajasthan bowlers. While the others failed to get the in-form Shorey out, it was braveheart Rahul, who struck once again.
Despite being hit for a six in the previous delivery, Rahul tossed the next one up inviting Shorey, who missed the flight trying to go for another big shot and was comfortably stumped.
Chand, playing his first match in the tournament looked confident right from the start. He punished the bad balls with conviction taking his team to 100 in 12 overs. Nitish Rana once again failed to get going as he was sent back Abhimanyu Lamba in the next over with score just 105/4.
Milind and Chand laboured to a 18-run partnership but couldn't convert it to a big one getting out cheaply to skipper Aniket Choudhury while trying to hit over the deep extra cover.
Lone fighter Chand showed his class with a dominating 49 ball 53. He was caught on 48 off Khaleel, but it was ruled a no ball. However, Khaleel had the last laugh trapping the young-turk lbw his next over.

Arindam Basu