Vijay Hazare: Himmat Singh's ton helps Delhi annihilate Andhra

Himmat Singh smashed an unbeaten 102 off 75 balls as Delhi eased to a 73-run victory against Andhra at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

Himmat Singh combined with Nitish Rana and Lalit Yadav to power Delhi to a total of 314/5 in 50 overs.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Delhi’s batsmen came to the fore in a must-win encounter against a previously-unbeaten Andhra and helped the host to a comfortable 73-run victory in the Vijay Hazare Trophy league match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Tuesday.

Himmat Singh (102 not out, 75b, 9x4, 4x6) cracked an unbeaten 102 and ensured Delhi reached a formidable 314 for five in 50 overs. In reply, Andhra could only manage 241 in 49.5 overs. The big win also helped Delhi avenge the loss suffered in the quarterfinals of the last edition.

Following this victory, Delhi stayed on course for a place in the quarterfinals with two matches in hand. With five teams advancing to the last-eight from Groups ‘A’ and ‘B’, Delhi (18 points) is currently placed fourth behind Mumbai (26), Maharashtra (20) and Baroda (18).

Andhra (18 points from six matches), Hyderabad (18 from seven matches) and Saurashtra (12 points from five matches) remain in the hunt for the fifth qualifying spot.

After winning the toss, Andhra chose to field. Delhi, which had hit 392 on the same surface against Kerala two days ago, was happy to stay in its comfort zone. Openers Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand were at it again, putting on 75 for the opening wicket. Unmukt got his second successive half century in spite of lacking the fluency of some of his teammates.
 

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It was the duo of Himmat and Nitish Rana that truly gave the innings the impetus it needed. Coming together at 129 for three in the 27th over, the pair raised 97 runs off 89 deliveries before Rana departed for a run-a-ball 52, which included three sixes and two boundaries.

By this time, Delhi’s innings was in full flow. The host plundered 174 runs off the last 20 overs, with Himmat going great guns and Lalit Yadav (23 not out, 14b, 1x4, 1x6) playing second fiddle. Among the bowlers, leg-spinner Karn Sharma proved the most expensive, conceding 94 runs in 10 overs for the wicket of Unmukt.

When Andhra chased, the loss of openers K. S. Bharat and Ashwin Hebbar with just 27 on the board kept Delhi on top. The third-wicket stand of 81 runs between Prashanth Kumar (54, 6x4, 1x6) and skipper Ricky Bhui (48, 3x4, 2x6) held some hope for Andhra before Delhi got rid of the
duo in the space of 22 runs. Thereafter, only Ravi Teja (35, 3x4) and Karn Sharma (25, 4x4 delayed the inevitable.
 

Brief scores:

Delhi 314 for five in 50 overs (Himmat Singh 102 not out, Unmukt Chand 62, Nitish Rana 52, Gautam Gambhir 37) beat Andhra 241 in 49.5 overs (D. B. Prashanth Kumar 54, Ricky Bhui 48, Ravi Teja 35, Karn Sharma 25) by 73 runs.

Toss: Andhra

Points: Delhi (18) 4; Andhra (18) 0