December 7, 2000

Ricky, Mahajan shape Punjab's three wicket win

A 112-run sixth wicket partnership between Ravneet Ricky and S Mahajan helped Punjab defeat Delhi by three wickets in the North Zone Ranji Trophy Oneday Tournament at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi on Thursday.

Needing to score 247 for a win, Punjab were pegged on the back foot when they lost opener Sandeep Singh (4) off the third ball of the innings. Sandeep was caught by Ashu Dani off Aashish Nehra. But Ricky and Vikram Rathour (38) added 48 runs for the second wicket before Rathour fell for a catch by Rahul Sanghvi off Suman. Stumper Pankaj Dharmani lasted just seven balls before offering a catch to Virendra Shewag off Suman. A Kakkar too was out quickly.

At 82 for 5, Punjab were in a precarious position. But both Ricky and Mahajan responded to the call and forged their retreiving stand which lasted 21.4 overs. Ricky finally departed, caught by Dani off Sanghvi for 67 off 120 balls inclusive of two fours and a six. Then Harbhajan Singh (26), who seems to fancy himself with the bat these days and Mahajan took the score to 240. With only seven more runs required for a win, Harbhajan departed giving a return catch to Shewag. Then Sharandeep Singh helped Mahajan to finsh the formalities. Mahajan remained unbeaten with 77 off 89 balls. He hit four boundaries and a six.

Earlier, Delhi put up 246 on the board thanks to valuable knocks by Gautam Gambhir (53) and stumper P Chawla (59). The Delhi top order chipped in with useful contributions.