Himmat Singh waved his bat, looked at the sky, and hugged his teammate Kshitiz Sharma as he reached his century to help Delhi start its Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with a six-wicket win over Jharkhand on Wednesday.
At the I.S. Bindra Stadium, Himmat stood firm and his classy unbeaten 113 (124b, 11x4, 1x6) enabled his team to overcome early jitters and take home the four points.
Chasing 264, Delhi had high expectations from India international Shikhar Dhawan, but he lasted just three balls. He returned to the pavilion without opening the account – Anukul Roy taking a sharp catch at point off a Varun Aaron delivery. As Dhawan, who has not played international cricket since July, walked back, nodding his head in disbelief, there were apprehensions that Delhi might lose the plot.
However, coming into bat at 1-1, Himmat kept his cool and stitched a 127-run stand with Dhruv Shorey (64; 82b) and ensured there was no slip-up.
On a surface that seemed to aid batters, Shorey initially held fort at one end, while Himmat hit a few boundaries to put the pressure back on the Jharkhand bowlers.
Jharkhand captain Virat Singh tried out several bowling options and the breakthrough came in the 25th over. Shahbaz Nadeem took a return catch to dismiss Shorey. A few overs later, a run out of Jonty Sidhu (8, 17b) reduced Delhi to 154-3.
While the Jharkhand players pressed hard for a comeback, Himmat stood firm. He built partnerships – first with Lalit Yadav and then with Kshitiz (43 not out) – to guide Delhi home.
Earlier, put in to bat, Jharkhand lost four wickets for 55 – courtesy Pradeep Sangwan – before captain Virat (79; 104b) and Kaushal Singh (69; 86b) stitched together a 129-run stand. After both Virat and Kaushal fell, Anukul Roy’s quickfire 47 off 30 guided Jharkhand to 263-8.
However, with Himmat showing his might, that was not enough.
Summarised scores (Group C)
At the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali: Jharkhand 263-8 (Virat Singh 79, Kausal Singh 69; Pradeep Sangwan 3-46, Kulwant Khejroliya 2-72) lost to Delhi 264-4 in 47 overs (Himmat Singh not out 113, Dhruv Shorey 64)
At Sector 16 Stadium: Saurashtra 223 in 47.3 overs (Harvik Desai 52, Samarth Vyas 33, Jaydev Unadkat 33; Shivam Mavi 4-26, Yash Dayal 3-48) beat Uttar Pradesh 191 in 48.1 overs (Rinku Singh 65, Almas Shaukat 51; Chirag Jani 5-35).
At Mullanpur: Haryana 162 in 39.2 overs (Yashu Sharma 68; Tilak Verma 4-23, T Ravi Teja 3-23) lost to Hyderabad 167-5 in 41 overs (Tanmay Agarwal not out 77, Sumanth Kolla 20; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-42).
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