Gambhir hits superb 151 as Delhi beat Kerala

New Delhi : Veteran Gautam Gambhir continued his dream run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a career-best 151 off 104 balls as Delhi made short work of Kerala, winning the Group ‘B’ encounter by a whopping 165-run margin here on Friday.

In the twilight of his career and two weeks shy of his 37th birthday, Gambhir smashed his 21st List ‘A’ hundred that had 18 fours and four sixes.

Gambhir has now scored 298 run in four games with a century and a half-century. With Unmukt Chand (69 off 88 balls) and Dhruv Shorey (99 no off 69 balls) also making handsome contributions, Delhi scored a mammoth 392-3 and then restricted Kerala to 227 for 8 in 50 overs.

Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi (3-41) was the most successful bowler for Delhi while Navdeep Saini and Nitish Rana also picked up a couple of wickets.

However the day belonged to Gambhir, who took the depleted Kerala attack to cleaners. Without their premier fast bowler Basil Thampi and seasoned all-rounder Jalaj Saxena (both on national duty), the attack didn’t have the teeth to bother Delhi. While out-of-form Chand played cautiously, Gambhir was fluent on both sides off the wicket as he peppered the off-side field with monotonic regularity.

When the ball was pitched short, he was in a quick position to pull the deliveries as the opening pair added 172 runs. Gambhir completed his hundred off 74 balls. Once Chand was gone, Kerala suffered even more as Shorey and Gambhir added 123 runs in just over 14 overs.

Once Gambhir retired having completed his 150, Shorey upped the ante hitting as many seven sixes and four boundaries.

The chase was out of question for Kerala with only the pair of Sanju Samson (47) and Sachin Baby (47) adding 89 runs for the third wicket.

Mumbai beat Punjab

Mumbai continued its winning streak in the tournament after they defeated Punjab by 43 runs in an Elite Group ‘A’ match. Asked to bat, opener Jay Bista top-scored for the domestic giants with a patient 68 off 75 balls. Courtesy his knock, Mumbai managed to put 245 on the board in 49 overs.

Akhil Herwadkar (32), one down Siddesh Lad (35) and experienced Surya Kumar Yadav (31) got desired starts but were unable to convert them to big scores as Punjab bowlers struck at regular intervals. They crippled the lower-middle order, but a quick fire 30 from 14 balls by pacer Shardul Thakur ensured that Mumbai went past the 240-run mark.

For Punjab, Manpreet Singh Grewal (2-28), Mayank Markande (2-25) and Mandeep Singh (2-40) were among the wickets. Mumbai bowlers bundled out Punjab for 202, with pacers Dhawal Kulkarni (3-18) and Thakur (3-53) doing the bulk of the damage.

For Punjab, batters Shubman Gill (40), Anmolpreet Singh (35), Mandeep Singh (32) and Yuvraj Singh (26) got starts but faltered at crucial moments in the game.

Brief Scores

Elite, Group ‘A’

Mumbai: 245 in 49 overs (J Bista 68, S Lad 35; M Grewal 2-28) beat Punjab: 202 in 44.3 overs (S Gill 40, A Singh 35; D Kulkarni 3-18) by 43 runs.

Maharashtra: 278 in 49.5 overs (R Gaikwad 114, R Motwani 53; K Singh 1-21) beat Himachal Pradesh: 195 in 44.2 overs (N Gangta 76, A Bains 62; S Fallah 3-18) by 83 runs.

Baroda: 281-5 in 50 overs (K Devdar 107, D Hooda 71; K Das

2-53) beat Goa: 148 in 42.3 overs (A Verma 59, S Amonkar 35; K Pandya 6-41) by 133 runs.

Elite, Group ‘B’

Delhi: 392-3 in 50 overs (G Gambhir 151, D Shorey 99*, U Chand 69) beat Kerala: 227-8 in 50 overs (S Samson 47, S Baby 47; P Negi 3-41) by 165 runs.

Madhya Pradesh: 277 in 49.3 overs (Y Dubey 75; D Behera 3-38) beat Odisha: 276-8 in 50 overs (A Sarangi 78) by 1 run.

Elite, Group ‘C’

Tripura: 242-7 in 50 overs (B Shetty 107, B Ghosh 76; R Chahar 3-44) beat Rajasthan: 194 in 45.1 overs (R Bist 42; R Saha 3-50) 48 runs.

Gujarat: 219-7 in 50 overs (R Bhatt 56*; D Pathania 3-36) lost to Services: 220-1 in 38.1 overs (R Chauhan 106*, R Gahlaut 55*) by 9 wickets.

Assam: 150 in 38.5 overs (R Parag 32; P Pramanik 4-27) lost to Bengal: 151-5 in 25.4 overs (Vivek Singh 51) by 5 wickets.

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