On Thursday, Delhi maintained their composure under pressure to edge out former champions Uttar Pradesh by three runs to set up a summit clash with Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.
The domestic Twenty20 event will have a new champion this season as both Delhi and Rajasthan have made their maiden final and will compete for the title at Eden Gardens on Friday.
Rajasthan choke, but progress
In a group A clash, Rajasthan lost to Punjab but made it to the final due to a better net run rate. Chasing 130 for a win Rajasthan lost by five runs.
In the end, Yuvraj Singh’s slow batting against Karntaka (29 off 25 balls), Jharkhand (33 off 17 balls) and in Thursday’s game (4 off 11 balls) cost Harbhajan Singh led team dearly.
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 had to restrict Rajasthan below 106 to make their third final appearance.
Pant powers Delhi
Earlier, Delhi were the first to book a maiden final berth upsetting a strong Uttar Pradesh team 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 a 34-ball 58. Delhi reached 140/9 after being sent in by Uttar Pradesh skipper Suresh Raina. Raina failed when it mattered the most as Uttar Pradesh batting caved in for 137.
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.
Delhi 140/9 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 58) beat Uttar Pradesh 137 in 20 overs (Pawan Negi 2/13, Subodh Bhati 2/28) by three runs.
Tamil Nadu 123/7 in 20 overs lost to Baroda 125/5 in 17.1 overs (Kedar Devdhar 68) by five wickets.
Punjab 129/9 in 20 overs (Harbhajan Singh 32; Khaleel Ahmed 3/17) beat Rajasthan 124/8 (Ankit Lamba 47; Barinder Sran 3/22) by five runs.