Sehwag and Gambhir star again
Virender Sehwag blasted a 35-ball 67 and Gautam Gambhir hit 40 off 25 as Delhi hunted down 175 against Punjab with six wickets to spare. It was Delhi's third win in a row and took them to 12 points, level with Haryana at the top of North Zone, eight points ahead of the rest.
Punjab themselves had a flying start as their openers Manan Vohra and Mandeep Singh put on 59 in 5.3 overs. Though they kept losing wickets regularly after that, cameos from Gurkeerat Singh and Himanshu Chawla took them to a strong total.
It didn't prove that challenging a total once Gambhir and Sehwag got going. Sehwag hit form in the first-class game for MCC in Abu Dhabi last month, and had made a key contribution in the opening game against Himachal Pradesh, though this was his most explosive innings in a while. He hit 13 fours and by the time he was dismissed in the 13th over, Delhi were 142 for 2. Sumit Narwal joined the fun, with a 23-ball 42 to complete the chase.
Haryana kept pace at the top of the table with Delhi after a seven-wicket win over Jammu & Kashmir in Chandigarh. J&K had no clue against medium-pacer Joginder Sharma, who ripped through the top order to finish with figures of 4-1-14-4. Joginder began with two wickets in the first over, and added two more as he bowled out his four overs at the start of the innings itself.
Parvez Rasool's 35 helped J&K scrape to 122, a total which Haryana overhauled with an over to spare. The opener Avi Barot anchored the chase with a run-a-ball half-century, with the other opener Rahul Dewan providing the early impetus with four fours in his 22. No. 4 Sachin.Rana chipped in with 30 as Haryana lost only three wickets in completing the victory.
In Mohali, Paras Dogra smashed 93 off 60 balls as Himachal Pradesh ran out winners against Services by 26 runs. What made Dogra's innings stand out even more was that he came in with Himachal at 12 for 2, and none of his team-mates made more than 26. He clubbed five sixes and five fours as he made his highest T20 score and took Himachal to a challenging 175.
In the chase, Services opener Nakul Verma and No. 3 Anshul Gupta scored at a strike-rate over 140 and reached 84 for 1 in the 10th over before Gupta was dismissed for 39. Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma's double-strike in the 13th over sparked a collapse, however, and Services went from 114 for 2 to 136 for 8. Verma was the sixth wicket to fall, dismissed for 62, and the game was soon beyond Services.