Vijay Hazare Trophy: Prashant takes Delhi to the cleaners

Delhi capitulated to Himachal Pradesh by 185 runs Prashant Chopra’ rampaging innings of 159 proppeled Himachal to 339 in 50 overs

The Delhi bowlers failed to contain Chopra, a compact batsman from Solan. This was his second consecutive century, after his 100 against Tamil Nadu.   -  PTI (File Photo)


Hard to imagine a Delhi team so bereft of ideas. It did nothing to preserve the reputation gained over the years and capitulated to Himachal Pradesh, which came up with a brilliant combination in the Vijay Hazare tournament at the KIIT ground here on Sunday.

After conceding 339 in 50 overs – its bowlers slammed by a rampaging Prashant Chopra (159) – Delhi never looked a team worthy of challenging Himachal and lost by 185 runs. The cheap dismissals of Gautam Gambhir (0) and Rishabh Pant (2) closed the doors on whatever chance Delhi may have nurtured of a fight. Medium-pacers Dheeraj Kumar (five for 24) and Pankaj Jaiswal (three for 24) scripted the Delhi collapse.

Delhi paid for the lethargic movement by its youngsters. The rot set in through mis-fielding and Himachal exploited the sagging spirits of the opponents with Chopra and Paras Dogra belting the attack with disdain.

Delhi began the match on a low note with Ashish Nehra opting out and left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan ruled out from a toe injury suffered when batting against Tamil Nadu on Saturday. The batting line up suffered a setback when Shikhar Dhawan pulling out of the match due to fever. The replacements worked hard but the Delhi camp lacked substance.

The Delhi bowlers failed to contain Chopra, a compact batsman from Solan. In cracking a consecutive century, after his 100 against Tamil Nadu, the stylish Chopra showcased an impressive array of shots. He spared none and came up with some astounding shots, driving and slicing the ball on the rise.

What stood out in Chopra’s innings was his ability to play the ball very late and place it beyond the fielders on the boundary. He loves to indulge in stroke play at the earliest and did not waste any chance, producing shots in the front with consistency. His back foot shot making added to the woes of the Delhi bowlers who proved clueless on what line and length to bowl.

The only Delhi bowler to make an impression was debutant left-arm seamer Kulwant Khejroliya. He ripped the ball and made it bounce, at times disconcertingly, but came in for some harsh treatment at the hands of Chopra and veteran Dogra. Coming together at 118 for two, Chopra (159 off 140 balls, 25 fours and three sixes) and Dogra (77 off 65 balls, four fours and four sixes) added 118 runs for the third wicket to setup the contest for Himachal. This was Delhi’s second successive loss.

The scores:

HP 339 for eight in 50 overs (Prashant Chopra 159, Paras Dogra 77, Sumeet Verma 36, Navdeep Saini three for 63) beat Delhi 154 in 37 overs (Sarthak Ranjan 37, Dheeraj Kumar five for 24, Pankaj Jaiswal three for 24).

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