JAIPUR: Captain Nitish Rana smashed a magnificent hundred as Delhi comfortably beat Punjab by 12 runs in a Group B league fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament on Wednesday.
Rana, a T20 specialist and Kolkata Knight Riders star, was simply too good for the Punjab bowling unit as he scored 107 off only 61 balls with the help of nine fours and seven sixes to take Delhi to a solid 191 for 4 in 20 overs.
In reply, Punjab could only manage 179 for 5 with Ishant Sharma picking up 2 for 35 in his 4 overs.
Rana also did star turn with his off-breaks, picking 2/24 in 3 overs.
Earlier, Rana scored his maiden T20 hundred off only 55 balls and also added 173 runs in just 16.4 overs with U-19 World Cup-winning India captain Yash Dhull (66 not out off 45 balls), who also got his first half-century in shortest format.
Dhull, playing only his second T20 game, smashed four fours and as many sixes.
Rana and Dhull were especially severe on Punjab Kings left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar, who was hit for 32 runs in his two overs, including two fours and three towering sixes.
Almost all the Punjab bowlers were punished save Abhishek Sharma, who was brilliant with the new ball in the Powerplay overs, finishing with figures of 2/16 in 3 overs.
Abhishek did give Punjab the upperhand at the beginning, removing openers Anuj Rawat and Hiten Dalal but once the medium pacers came into operation, Dhull and Rana took control of proceedings.
Brief Scores
Delhi 191/4 (Nitish Rana 107 off 61 balls, Yash Dhull 66 not out, Siddarth Kaul 2/31). Punjab 179/5 (Anmolpreet Singh 64, Yash Dhull 44, Ishant Sharma 2/35, Nitish Rana 2/24). Delhi won by 12 runs.
Manipur 134/9 (Nitish Sedai 53, Arjun Tendulkar 2/20, Felix Alemao 2/31).
Goa 138/3 in 17. 2 overs (Siddhesh Lad 59, Suyash Prabhudesai 43). Goa won by 7 wickets.
Uttar Pradesh 163/6 in 20 overs (Akshdeep Nath 37, Priyam Garg 31, parvez Sultan 2/29). Tripura 166/4 in 19.3 overs (Sudip Chatterjee 49 not out, Wriddhiman Saha 7). Tripura win by 6 wickets.
Hyderabad 147/8 (Tilak Verma 57, Mickil Jaiswal 44, Bharat Sharma 4/18)
Puducherry 143/4 (R Raghupathy 35). Hyderabad won by 4 runs.


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By Dipak

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