Vijay Hazare Trophy: Listless Delhi Knocked Out In Group League

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An out of sorts Delhi, plagued by some questionable team selections, were knocked out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, losing by 51 runs to Uttarakhand in their final group league stage game on Tuesday. With four defeats from seven games, Delhi with 12 points, finished fifth in Group C. Haryana, with 28 points and an all-win record, finished with highest points among all participating states The six teams to directly qualify for the quarterfinals are Haryana (28 points), Rajasthan (24), Karnataka (24), Vidarbha (20), Mumbai (20) and Tamil Nadu (20). The four teams to qualify for the pre-quarterfinals are Bengal (20), Gujarat (20), Kerala (20) and Maharashtra (20).

Despite bowling out Uttarakhand for 221 in 45.5 overs with pacer Navdeep Saini (3/23) and left-arm spinner Harsh Tyagi (3/30) doing bulk of the damage, it was yet another shoddy batting show by young Delhi batters as they were bowled out for 170 in 46.2 overs.

A state that has given batting stalwarts like Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant over the past two decades, it is embarrassing to find someone of Kshitiz Sharma’s (4 off 18 balls) calibre being asked to open the batting.

The selection committee as well as the team management will have some answering to do as to how Kshitiz, who has an average of less than 30 (29.86) in 22 List A games with just three fifty-plus scores, has been given the opportunity to open.

Kshitiz didn’t have the skills to tackle Mumbai Indians’ last season’s find Akash Madhwal, who exposed the batter’s lack of skill.

So bare is the cupboard that a dogged slow-coach red-ball player like Jonty Sidhu (23 off 56 balls) has been entrusted with the duty of opening the batting.

Save for Ayush Badoni (87 off 97 balls) and Himmat Singh, who failed today but otherwise has been impressive, none of the Delhi batters have covered themselves in glory.

Skipper Yash Dhull, who should have been freed from the burden of leadership and allowed to play his game, couldn’t manage a single fifty in six innings that he batted.

In some of the games, he didn’t bat in top-four where one needs to face new-ball bowlers with deliveries jagging a bit.

Brief scores: Uttarakhand 221 in 45.5 overs (Avneesh Sudha 85, Aditya Tare 58, Navdeep Saini 3/23, Harsh Tyagi 3/30).

Delhi 170 in 46.2 overs (Ayush Badoni 87, Akash Madhwal 2/37).

Mumbai qualified for the quarterfinal stage despite losing to a comparatively weaker eastern cricketing state Odisha by 86 runs in a low-scoring final Group A league tie. This was after Mumbai had lost the last game to Tripura.

Odisha scored 199 for 9 in 50 overs and shot Mumbai out for 113 in 32.3 overs after being 89 for 9 at one stage. Royston Dias, with 24, was the top scorer.

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