New Delhi: Going into the final day, Delhi were expected to achieve an outright victory over Odisha and that happened, as the home team trounced the visitors by 10 wickets and walked away with seven bonus points. On Monday at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Odisha could not last the whole day and were convincingly defeated with one session to go.
Odisha came out to bat with the overnight score of 239 for 6 and a lead of 41 runs, but were not able to put much on the board and got all out for 269. That left Delhi with a target of 82 runs to chase and they did it with relative ease without losing a single wicket. Openers Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 55 and Unmukt Chand on 23.
In the morning session, Pawan Suyal was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi as he picked up three wickets and missed out on a hat-trick chance, but returned with a five-wicket haul. Suyal removed Natraj Behera (45) and Basant Mohanty off the successive balls to leave Odisha reeling at 243 for 8. Suyal and Parvinder Awana fired in the short balls relentlessly and the tail-enders couldn't last long at the crease.
Then the Delhi openers, Dhawan and Chand came out with an intent not to give away their wickets easily keeping in mind the bonus point. Both batsmen played cautiously without taking much risk, as Delhi went into lunch at 32 for 0 with 50 runs away from win. Dhawan batting on 20 and Chand at the other end on 12.
After lunch both the openers raised the tempo of their game, especially Dhawan who hit some beautiful cut shots through the covers and a big six over the bowler's head to race to his half-century off 47 balls. It was again Dhawan who hit a leaning cover-drive for four to guide Delhi to achieve their target of 82. For Delhi, Suyal returned with impressive figures of 5 for 93 and Narwal claimed three wickets, while Awana and Vikash Mishra chipped in with one wicket each.
After the win, Delhi skipper was pleased with his team's performance, especially of the bowlers."It was a good game to win after losing the first match and this will give us a lot of confidence in the upcoming matches," said Dhawan.
Asked about Delhi's next game against Baroda starting on 17 November he said, "Baroda is a tough side with couple of good players, but we will have an advantage of Irfan Pathan not playing due to injury and that is a big plus."
On the other hand the skipper of the losing side, Natraj Behera rued the low score in the first innings. "I'm really dissapointed with the result, but our batsmen failed to spend some time at the crease in the first innings on a batting wicket like this," Behera said.
"We desperately need a win from here on in order to bring back the confidence in the team back and definitely we are going back with some positives from this game," he also said.