Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Delhi bowls Puducherry out for 82

Puducherry couldn’t end its Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on a high as the southern newbies suffered a crushing 110-run loss against Delhi on Tuesday.

Delhi's Himmat Singh scored a 42-ball 53 against Puducherry on Tuesday.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Puducherry couldn’t end its Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on a high as the southern newbies suffered a crushing 110-run loss against Delhi in its final Group E tie on Tuesday.

With neither team being in contention for a spot in the quarterfinals, Delhi preferred to rest its regulars, including captain Shikhar Dhawan and speedster Ishant Sharma, and give vritually everyone on the bench game-time. But even a second-string Delhi outfit proved too hard to handle for Puducherry at the Bandra-Kurla Complex facility.

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Despite Ashith Rajiv striking twice in as many balls in the first over, Himmat Singh’s fifty (53, 42b, 4x4, 2x6) helped Delhi resurrect the innings. Kshitiz Sharma (65 n.o., 34b, 6x4, 3x6) and Lalit Yadav (36 n.o., 19b, 5x4, 1x6) then snatched the game away from Puducherry with an unbroken 82-run partnership in the last six overs to ensure Delhi piled on a stiff 192 for five.

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In reply, offspinner Shivank Vashisht (four for 9) led the spoils as Delhi bundled Puducherry out for a paltry 82. The fact that no Puducherry batsman could tally even 15 runs speaks volumes about its inability to even make a match of it. Their batting revolves around professionals Sheldon Jackson and Paras Dogra. But once Vashisht saw their back off successive deliveries in the eighth over after left-armer Pawan Suyal had struck twice in the Powerplay, the Pondicherry lower order staged a meek surrender.

Delhi thus finished its Group E campaign with 12 points from five games, while Puducherry ended with eight points, thanks to its stunning wins against Mumbai and Andhra.