Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Delhi trounces J&K

Jammu and Kashmir skipper Parvez Rasool was the only player to offer any form of fight against the favourite Delhi in the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy. Rishabh Pant then came good with the bat to make little of Rasool's fight.

Delhi's Rishabh Pant in action during the North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 cricket championship against the Jammu and Kashmir at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Rishabh Pant finally came good with the bat as Delhi cruised to an eight-wicket victory against Jammu & Kashmir, overhauling a measly 100-run target in under 12 overs to go top of
the standings in a North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy here on Friday.

Pant and Sarthak Ranjan – one of the two contentious selections in the side for the tournament this season – added 77 runs for the first wicket in 8.3 overs to end the game for all practical purposes before Pant fell, attempting yet another audacious shot but was caught at deep mid-wicket immediately after completing his half-century.

Ranjan, included in the side after Dhruv Shorey was ruled out with an ankle sprain, made 31 opening the Delhi innings in place of Gautam Gambhir, who did not come out to bat. Both wickets were picked up by J&K captain Parvez Rasool, who also top-scored for his side earlier
with a 30-run knock, as the most experienced player in the opposition side played a lone hand to put up any semblance of a fight.

The rest of his teammates, however, did little to support. While Delhi was always favourite to win the face-off, two wickets in a space of four balls right at the beginning of the game with the scoring yet to begin was not the kind of start J&K would have expected after being put in to bat.

Pranav Gupta and Rasool then set about getting runs on the board but with Pradeep Sangwan slowly coming back into rhythm and Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya working up pace, it was too much to ask for from the inexperienced J&K side. The overcast conditions in the morning did not help the visiting side's cause, neither did Manzoor Dar's unlucky hit-wicket dismissal.

Once the two of them fell in successive overs, left-arm spinner Pawan Negi set about dismantling the lower-order, picking up three wickets as J&K folded up for 100, a target that was never going to trouble Delhi.

In the other game, Punjab managed a fighting 134 with handy contributions from most of its players, specially Manpreet Grewal and Barinder Sran, without any standout performance but it wasn't enough to avoid a five-wicket defeat to Haryana, for whom this was the first win.

Amit Mishra's three wickets at crucial moments helped Haryana restrict Punjab to a below-par 134. Sran shone with the ball as well, picking up three wickets for Punjab, but Rahul Tewatia and Rohit Sharma added 49 runs for the sixth wicket for an easy victory.

The scores:

J&K 100 for nine in 20 overs (Parvez Rasool 37; Pawan Negi three for 27, Navdeep Saini two for 14, Pradeep Sangwan two for 16) lost to Delhi 104 for two in 11.3 overs (Rishabh Pant 51, Sarthak Ranjan 31; Parvez Rasool two for 41). Points: Delhi 4, J&K 0.

Punjab 134 for nine in 20 overs (Mandeep Singh 30; Amit Mishra three for 23, Rahul Tewatia two for 15) lost to Haryana 136 for five in 17.5 overs (Rahul Tewatia 37 not out, Harshal Patel 31, Shubham Rohilla 29; Barinder Singh Sran three for 19, Harbhajan Singh two for 16). Points:
Haryana 4, Punjab 0.

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