An all-round show from Rahul Tewatia sealed a 53-run victory for Haryana over Delhi in Group C of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Gujarat College Cricket Ground here on Friday.
With Delhi pinning its hopes on Himmat Singh (80, 86, 5x4, 2x6) in the chase of 294, Tewatia grabbed a one-handed return catch to swing momentum. His first scalp was Delhi captain Yash Dhull, who gloved a delivery which jumped on him off a length, cornering it at 152 for 4.
Delhi’s pursuit stumbled in the second over when Priyansh Arya was caught in two minds about his drive and offered a feather to the keeper. Jonty Sidhu and Ayush Badoni fought the early jitters before the latter was strangled down leg by Harshal Patel.
The tide was turning with Sidhu and Himmat at the crease. The pair targeted Nishant Sindhu as Himmat stepped out and lofted him straight before Sidhu heaved a half-tracker on the leg side. The pair collected 19 runs off Sumit Kumar’s over with Sidhu’s glance and Himmat’s hook yielding 12.
But Yuzvendra Chahal induced a top edge from Sidhu to end his stay on 55. Dhull and Anuj Rawat constructed partnerships with Himmat but could not sustain them.
Lalit Yadav’s direction-less 25 off 49 mounted pressure on Himmat which ultimately proved fatal. Tewatia got Harsh Tyagi to end with 3/53 in 10 overs and banished Delhi to its third straight loss.
In the first innings, Tewatia (99*, 70b, 10x4, 5×6) played the rescuer when his side was reeling at 120 for five.
Tewatia made his intent clear when he launched a switch-hit six off Tyagi. But the southpaw reverted to his fancied on-side to torment bowlers, starting with a sweep off Lalit behind square.
Delhi’s attempt to take away Tewatia’s patented slog sweep by introducing pace went in vain. Tewatia pummeled two short-pitched deliveries to the fence from Mayank Yadav in the 41st over. He was equally adept in punishing the fuller deliveries, as Navdeep Saini learnt seeing his over-pitched ball get tonked to the other side of the fence over cover.
Sumit took a leaf out of his partner’s book and furnished three cross-batted swats against Mayank Yadav and Ishant Sharma to gather three sixes.
Ishant’s final trick of bowling wide yorkers to Tewatia was rendered ineffective when the batter relied on opening the bat face and threading the gaps inside the circle.
The 128 runs added by the pair for the seventh wicket wrested control from Delhi.
Saini’s early spell packed venom and left Haryana 28 for three. The most notable was his contest with Himanshu Rana who landed the first blow with a back-foot punch through point, followed by a clip to square leg. Saini, however, had the last laugh, getting him caught and bowled on 19.
The recalibration by the 92-run fourth-wicket partnership between Sindhu and Ashok Menaria would have been undone when Tyagi got two wickets off two deliveries if not for Tewatia.
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