All-round Harbhajan sinks Gujarat
An all-round bowling effort led by Shardul Thakur's 3 for 25 and a swift Wasim Jaffer half-century - his fourth in five innings - helped Mumbai wallop Delhi by six wickets and go through to the quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Mumbai's decision to field bore early fruit as Thakur got rid of Unmukt Chand and Virender Sehwag for 6 and 9 in successive overs. Though Milind Kumar did his best to halt the one-way traffic with 64 off 94 balls, support was lacking at the other end. Only four other people managed to get into double-figures as Delhi were bowled out for 157, with 45 balls remaining. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah claimed 2 for 24 off his 8.3 overs and all of the five bowlers used conceded less than 5 an over.
Delhi may have entertained a brief hope of a resurgence when opener Siddesh Lad was dismissed for an 11-ball duck, but Jaffer walked in and kept the score ticking over. His unbeaten 83 required 87 balls, with 11 fours and a six as he took Mumbai home with nearly 20 overs to spare and set a date with Karnataka on Friday's quarter-final.
Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh shone with bat and ball, first slamming a rapid half-century and then picking up two wickets, to help his team reach the quarter-finals after downing Gujarat by 28 runs in Rajkot.
Having been inserted, Punjab were precariously placed at 70 for 3 before Amitoze Singh and Gurkeerat Singh Mann led a recovery with a 104-run stand. Gurkeerat was the more aggressive foil, blasting 72 off 69 balls, while Amitoze hit 75, with eight fours. Both batsmen fell in successive overs, but Harbhajan, coming in at No.6, smashed two fours and six sixes during a 25-ball 51 to lift the score to 255 for 8.
Most of Gujarat's batsmen made starts during the chase, but failed to convert it into a substantial score. The No.9 batsman Rohit Dahiya was the team's top scorer with 53, but his knock was too little too late, as Gujarat were bundled out for 227 in 47.3 overs. Sandeep Sharma was the pick of Punjab's bowlers, taking 3 for 39 to rattle Gujarat's top order. Harbhajan chipped in with 2 for 51, while Yuvraj Singh, who had failed to fire with the bat, claimed 2 for 21.