Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Milind, Rana guide Delhi home

MP’s spirited defence of 156 in the third league tie, supported by Ishwar Pandey (two for 23 in four overs) went off course in the 18th over when Milind smashed 19 runs off pacer Puneet Datey.

Milind Kumar took the pressure off Delhi in the final stages of the game.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Milind Kumar and Nitish Rana played useful cameos for Delhi, as they chased Madhya Pradesh’s 156 with four wickets and a ball to spare in a Group C match. Nitish scored a 15-ball 28 while Milind was unbeaten on 36 at the Reliance stadium here.

MP’s spirited defence of 156 in the third league tie, supported by Ishwar Pandey (two for 23 in four overs) went off course in the 18th over when Milind smashed 19 runs off pacer Puneet Datey.

Ashish Nehra was missing in the Delhi attack as skipper Gautam Gambhir chose to field after the toss. The India bowler is preparing for the Australian tour. The 36-year-old left-arm pacer had played the first two games.

The limitations in Delhi’s bowling were exposed by MP middle-order batsmen on a wicket with even bounce and good carry. Naman Ojha, who scored the most for MP (48 off 42 balls) partnered left-hander Harpreet Singh Bhatia (35 off 27 balls) for a fourth wicket stand of 61.

Parth Sahani (36 off 14 balls) at number six, lashed five fours and two sixes to boost MP’s total beyond the 150-mark.

Delhi’s batsmen found it tough to adjust to the conditions after the shift in the venue. Pandey’s teasing line and variations frustrated Gambhir. The openers were soon back in the pavillion. The battle was even at the halfway stage, with Delhi at 73 for 3. Rana looked in good touch, as he has been for the last three matches. And, Milind and Negi batted to their strengths to guide Delhi home.

MP remain on eight points after two wins from three Group C games. Railways picked up points against Andhra at the Motibaug ground, opening the account after defeats against Delhi and Baroda in back-to-back ties.

Assam beat Goa for their first win after two games. Tuesday is a rest day for all teams.

Result:-

>Delhi beat Madhya Pradesh by 4 wickets