Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Delhi beats Team Rajasthan to clinch title

Experienced campaigner Unmukt Chand’s well-crafted half-century enabled Delhi to trounce Rajasthan by 41 runs and lift its maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Eden Gardens on Friday.

Delhi players celebrate after winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 in Kolkata on Friday.   -  Twitter/BCCI

Experienced campaigner Unmukt Chand’s well-crafted half-century enabled Delhi to trounce Rajasthan by 41 runs and lift its maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

Electing to bat in the T20 tournament final, Ranji Trophy runner-up Delhi scored a challenging 153 for six and wrapped up the Rajasthan innings for 112 to make a big impression on the eve of the Indian Premier League auctions.

Delhi got a flying start as Rishabh Pant and Gambhir opened their arms early.

Despite the absence of its star pacer Deepak Chahar, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury, Rajasthan wrested control when Rahul Chahar castled Gambhir (27 off 23, 4x4, 1x6) with a leg-spinner in the fifth over.

Pant skied left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed to keeper Chetan Bist in the following over and Delhi needed to consolidate at 41 for two.

Unmukt, who could not open his account on his return to the Delhi XI against Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, rose to the occasion as he saw off a rough patch.

The seasoned batsman showed a lot of determination to rotate the strike and played some big shots, including four fours and two sixes over midwicket, in his 49-ball 53.

Unmukt's patient 48-run stand with Dhruv Shorey (21 off 14, 2x6) put Delhi in a good position.

Unmukt was on 48 when he was caught off a skilful Khaleel in the 18th over, but the delivery, the second bouncer in the over, was called a no ball by the third umpire.

Before being adjudged lbw off Khaleel in the final over, Unmukt helped Delhi get close to 150.

Rajasthan bowlers' tidy performance denied Delhi from getting a bigger total.

Promising opener Aditya Garhwal, who had attracted attention with his triple century against Saurashtra in the C.K. Nayudu Trophy in November, did justice to his talent to lead Rajasthan's reply.

The stylish right-hander gathered some lovely boundaries, including a few to the midwicket fence and was singularly responsible for keeping Rajasthan's run chase under control for a considerable period.

Garhwal’s maiden T20 half-century (52 off 36, 8x4) ended in the 12th over when he was caught at long on trying a big hit off off-spinner Lalit Yadav.

Delhi skipper Pradeep Sangwan, who took two important wickets to be named man of the match, rotated his bowlers commendably to maintain pressure as Rajasthan lost wickets in quick intervals following the departure of Garhwal and fell way short of the target.

Brief scores: Delhi 153 for six in 20 overs (Unmukt Chand 53, Gautam Gambhir 27, Khaleel Ahmed two for 23, Rahul Chahar two for 31) bt Rajasthan 112 in 19.1 overs (Aditya Garhwal 52, Pradeep Sangwan two for 14, Pawan Negi two for 21, Kulwant Khejroliya two for 24).