Vastavam web: Delhi maintained their composure under pressure to edge out former champions Uttar Pradesh by three runs in a low-scoring thriller to set up a summit clash with Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.The domestic Twenty20 competition will have a new champions this season as both Delhi and Rajasthan have made their maiden final slated at Eden Gardens under lights tomorrow.However, Punjab bowlers were superb at the death as they conceded just 21 runs and took two wickets in the last five overs to restrict Rajasthan to 124/8.
It was not enough as Punjab were to restrict Rajasthan under 106 to make their third final appearance.Earlier, Delhi were the first to book a maiden final berth upsetting a strong Uttar Pradesh in a group B match at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Saltlake.On a day India veteran and two-time IPL champion Gautam Gambhir failed to get a big score, Rishabh Pant again did the star turn smashing 34-ball 58 (5×4, 3×6).It was Subodh Bhati, who triggered the collapse to return with a brilliant 2/28 as the Delhi medium pacer also held his nerve in a nail-biting last over to confirm their maiden final berth from Super League group B.
Needing 13 off the last over, diminutive lefthander Saurabh Kumar was all fired up when he started off with a six off Bhati.But in the next ball, his quickfire 18-ball 33 (2×4, 2×6) was halted by a brilliant runout while he was attempting for a double to retain the strike.Promoted to No 4, Rinku Singh (34 off 26 balls; 4×4, 1×6) was their topscorer but he was dismissed by Pawan Negi (2/13) as Uttar Pradesh kept losing wickets after Raina’s failure.Earlier, Gambhir, who had scores of 21, 7 and 1 in the previous three matches of the Super League, got out in the fifth ball of the day to continue his woeful form.
Gambhir edged pacer Amit Mishra to be caught behind while in-form Dhruv Shorey (12) got out cheaply after his failed pull attempt was caught by Raina at slip.Medium pacer Deepak Chahar led the show with excellent figures of 2/9 from 1.5 overs before limping off the field as Mahipal Lomror finished the over.
Deepak’s brother Rahul Chahar also grabbed two wickets including the prized scalp of Yuvraj Singh.The stylish left-hander had another forgetful stay at the crease with four from 11 balls befor being stumped, while Khaleel Ahmed (3/17) was their top wicket taker.Skipper Harbhajan Singh, batting at No 3, top-scored with a 31-ball 32 (2×4) while Barinder Sran’s 13 not out from nine balls (1×4).