Bengaluru, Dec 23: India's limited overs captain MS Dhoni struck his first half century (70 not out) of this year's Vijay Hazare Trophy but his effort went in vain as Delhi defeated Jharkhand by 99 runs to enter the semi-finals today.
At the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday (December 23), Jharkhand were set a target of 226 by the Gautam Gambhir-led side, in the quarter-final. But the run chase was rocked early on by the pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Navdeep Saini who reduced Jharkhand to 9/4 in 5.1 overs.
Jharkhand never recovered from those blows and it was left to Dhoni to wage a lone battle but it was always going to be tough. Dhoni kept losing partners and finally the innings folded at 126 in 38 overs on a slow pitch.
Dhoni, who struggled to score even a single half century in the league phase, today came out with an unbeaten 70 off 108 balls (5x4, 4x6). The next best score for Jharkhand was 16 by Ankit Dabas. Opening batsman Ishan Kishan, who will lead India Under-19 team at next year's World Cup, fell for just 1 run, bowled by Ishant.
For Delhi, right-arm medium paceman Subodh Bhati was the highest wicket-taker with figures of 4/21 in 10 overs (2 maidens). Ishant was outstanding, bowling 4 maidens in his 7-over spell with 2/21 returns. Navdeep took 3/31 in 8 overs.
Earlier, Nitish Rana topscored with 44 as Delhi posted 225 all out in 50 overs. From 178/7, Delhi were helped past the 200-mark thanks to Pawan Negi's 38 not out.
Scores in brief
Delhi 225 all out in 50 overs (Nitish Rana 44, Pawan Negi 38 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 27, Rishabh Pant 24, Manan Sharma 21, Gautam Gambhir 20, Rahul Shukla 3/60, Varun Aaron 2/43, Ankit Dabas 2/46) beat Jharkhand 126 all out in 38 overs (MS Dhoni 70 not out, Ankit Dabas 16, Subodh Bhati 4/21, Navdeep Saini 3/31, Ishant Sharma 2/21, Pawan Negi 1/21).
Result: Delhi won by 99 runs and entered the semi-finals