Delhi thrash Punjab by 135 runs to earn bonus point

New Delhi: A solid all-round performance by Delhi helped them wallop Punjab by 135 runs to earn their second successive victory in the North Zone leg of the National One-Day Championship for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, on Wednesday.

The resounding victory also earned the hosts their second bonus point in the tournament and they now lead the table with 10 points from two matches.

After posting 265 for five in 50 overs, Delhi bowlers never let the opposition batsmen get off the hook, bowling them out for 130 in just 32 overs.

It was also a battle between two out-of-favour veterans -- Delhi`s Ashish Nehra and Punjab`s Harbhajan Singh.

They didn`t exactly set the stage on fire but Nehra (1/37) bowled at a brisk pace during his eight overs. The Punjab batsmen were never at ease facing Nehra.

Punjab skipper Harbhajan, on the other hand, gave away only 38 runs in his 10-over spell. What the figures won`t tell is that he didn`t attack the batsmen much. He bowled flat without flighting the ball much in his bid to contain the batsman rather than trying to buy wickets. On lot of occasions, he drifted down the leg-side.

Harbhajan`s bowlers kept Delhi under wraps till the 40th over but skipper Rajat Bhatia (60 not out, 38 balls, 6x4, 2x6), Punit Bisht (73, 81 balls, 7x4, 2x6), Yogesh Nagar (21 no, 12 balls, 2x4, 1x6) then unleashed some cracking shots as Delhi scored 108 runs in the last 10 overs.

Former Delhi captain Mithun Manhas (60, 104 balls, 5x4) also added 111 runs for the third wicket with Bisht who timed the ball really well. But it was Bhatia whose big-hitting in the final five overs yielded 66 runs and put Delhi in driver`s seat.

When Punjab batted, they lost three top-order batsmen within first eight overs, courtesy a hostile spell by Parvinder Awana (3/27) and never recovered from there.

Awana pitched the ball up and also got a fair bit of movement as he sent back Uday Kaul, Karan Goel and Gurkirat Singh Ahluwalia during his first spell of five overs.

Harbhajan (36, 29 balls, 5x4, 2x6) entertained the 100-odd spectators with some lusty blows but that wasn`t enough as Delhi romped home in 32 overs. It was rookie left-arm spinner Varun Sood (3/4) who polished off the tail with Bhatia, Manhas, Sangwan all chipping in with a wicket each.

Brief Scores: Delhi 265 (Punit Bist 73, Rajat Bhatia 60 no, Yogesh Nagar 60, Barinder Singh 2/72, Harbhajan Singh 0/38).

Punjab 130 all out in 32 overs (Harbhajan Singh 36, Bipul Sharma 25, Parvinder Awana 3/27, Varun Sood 3/4).

Points: Delhi 5; Punjab -1.