Andhra were bowled out for 125 in 19.2 overs © Getty Images (Representational Image)
Andhra were bowled out for 125 in 19.2 overs © Getty Images (Representational Image)

Vadodara: Youngster Nitish Rana played a brillant counter-attacking innings of 97 from 40 balls as Delhi cantered home by 111 runs against Andhra in a group C match of the Syed Mushtaq T20 tournament on Sunday. Left-hander Rana, known to be one of the hardest hitters in the Delhi circuit, certainly would have attracted attention of a few franchises after smashing 34 off 15 balls against Railways on Saturday. Having chased a massive target of 211 yesterday against Railways, it was Delhi’s turn to put an imposing total on the board as they plundered 236 for 9 in 20 overs. In reply, Andhra were bowled out for 125 in 19.2 overs.

However, they were down in the dumps at 40 for four with skipper Gautam Gambhir (18) and Unmukt Chand (0) back in the pavilion. But then Rana launched a brutal counter assault with eight fours and eight sixes as he got 80 runs in boundaries from 16 balls. He got able support from the dependable Milind Kumar whose 58 came off only 28 balls with six boundaries and three sixes. Together, the duo added a whopping 119 runs in 9.1 overs for the fifth wicket. But it was the next partnership for the sixth wicket that was even more exhilarating as Rana and Pawan Negi (22 no in 14 balls) added 51 runs in only 2.4 overs before the 22-year-old was bowled trying to hoick left-arm spinner B Sudhakar out of the ground.

The chase was out of question for minnows Andhra and they were kept under relentless pressure by the Delhi bowlers. Ashish Nehra only bowled two overs giving away 13 runs and got a wicket in the bargain. Medium pacer Subodh Bhati again bowled his slowers to take 2/13 while Negi and off-break bowler Shivam Sharma also got two wickets apiece. Delhi now have eight points from two matches.

Brief Scores:

Delhi 236 for 9 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 97, Milind Kumar 58, Pawan Negi 22*, CV Stephen 5 for 52) beat Andhra 125 in 19.2 overs (SK Ramesh 37, Subodh Bhati 2 for 13, Ashish Nehra 1 for 13) by 111 runs.