Two days after crashing to an embarrassing loss to Odisha, Delhi gave vent to its pent up frustration against a hapless Kerala and turned their Vijay Hazare Trophy league into a no contest.

Opting to field on a placid Ferozeshah Kotla ground, Kerala was left to regret its decision as Gautam Gambhir led Delhi’s ruthless assault that stopped at 392 for three in 50 overs on way to an eventual 165-run triumph.

Day 9: As it Happened

Kerala, having lost its openers to Navdeep Saini for just 31, never made any serious attempt to stay in the hunt and ended up at 227 for eight in 50 overs.

Delhi’s third victory in five outings raised its tally to 14 points. Kerala’s second defeat kept its aggregate at 10 points from five matches. More importantly, the margin helped Delhi’s net run-rate in the on-going race to a place in the quarterfinals.

Gambhir showed the way with 104-ball 151, dotted with four sixes and 18 boundaries. Runs flowed from the blades of the Delhi batsmen as 16 overs produced 10 or more runs, with Sachin Baby getting plundered for 19 runs off the 39th over.

Delhi was off to a flier with Unmukt Chand finally finding form after three successive failures. Gambhir and Unmukt raised 172 runs for the opening wicket before Unmukt departed for an 88-ball 69. In contrast, Gambhir was in full flow. He went on to add another 123 runs with
Dhruv Shorey (99 not out, 69b, 4x4, 7x6) for the second wicket.

Gambhir, dropped at 36 by Arun Karthik at midwicket off Akshay Chandran, looked good to reach 200 but chose to discontinue after reaching 151. Later, he was declared ‘retired out’.

Following Nitish Rana’s cheap dismissal, Shorey and youngster Pranshu Vijayran (48 not out, 34b, 7x4, 1x6) raised an unbroken stand of 92 runs to firmly put the match beyond Kerala.

When Kerala batted, Sachin Baby (47, 49b, 4x4, 1x6) and Sanju Samson (47, 57b, 7x4) provided the brightest phase that produced 89 runs before departing in Pawan Negi’s successive overs. The left-arm spinner went on to scalp Salman Nizar. In the second half of the innings, V. A. Jagadeesh helped himself to an unbeaten 69-ball 59 with four boundaries.