Unmukt stars in Delhi’s four-wicket win
Opener Unmukt Chand scored a gritty 99 to help Delhi register a four-wicket win against Haryana even as pacer Harshal Patel tried his best to defend the visitors’ total on the fourth and final day of the Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match here on Sunday.
Delhi now <g data-gr-id="20">have</g> 14 points from three matches and are very much in the race for a place in the knock-outs.
Starting on their overnight score of 69 for no loss in pursuit of their victory target of 224, Delhi saw skipper Gautam Gambhir (20) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohit Ahlawat (0) fall to Harshal’s inswinger’s after being trapped leg before but Unmukt did his best to ensure that the hosts bag 6 points at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Unmukt, who added two half-centuries -- 68 in <g data-gr-id="24">first</g> innings -- to his first-class record in this game, stood strong with Nitish Rana (25) to stitch an 81-run partnership, but his wicket saw Delhi wobble again.
Rana and Chand’s wickets in a space of 10 deliveries once again gave the Virender Sehwag-led Haryana hopes of an unlikely win. Harshal continued to make inroads with Manan Sharma’s (5) scalp, getting able support from Ashish Hooda (2-46) at the other end. After getting the prized wicket of Unmukt, Hooda got Yogesh Nagar cleaned up for 4 to put Delhi in deep trouble. But Milind Kumar (44 not out) and Pradeep Sangwan (11 not out) stitched a 42-run seventh-wicket partnership to make sure that Delhi survive to get their second outright win in three games so far.
In a match of fluctuating fortunes, Haryana <g data-gr-id="22">were</g> made to look strong on Day 3 after bundling out Delhi for 227 in the first innings and then Sehwag struck a fluent half-century to help the visitors give a competitive target to the hosts. Delhi though again turned things around in the final session on Saturday with Gambhir and Unmukt giving the team a brisk start and raise hopes of an easy victory, which they ultimately did albeit with much difficulty. Young left-arm spinner Manan Sharma made his presence felt for the home team with match figures of 11-162, bagging two five-wicket hauls in both the innings and always kept the Haryana batsmen on tenterhooks on a slow and low pitch.