New Delhi, March 25: Virender Sehwag's entertaining 39 and Vaibhav Rawal's whirlwind 31 not out helped Delhi outplay Punjab by six wickets to register their second consecutive win in the North Zone leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Trophy, here today.
Chasing 160 for a win at the Feroz Shah Kotla, the Delhi batsmen put up a concerted effort to achieve the target with three balls to spare. Sehwag was the top-scorer with his 35-ball knock, including 3 fours and 3 sixes, but was finally done in by a caught and bowled effort from opposition skipper Harbhajan Singh (1-25).
Opener Unmukt Chand contributed with a 17-ball 20 as captain Gautam Gambhir (4) once again failed to get going. Sehwag and Nitish Rana (35) then stitched a 42-run third wicket partnership to get behind the chase.
But after the two batsmen departed, Delhi were in some trouble before an unbeaten 48-run fifth wicket stand between Milind Kumar (21 not out) and Rawal (31 not out, 13 balls, 2x4s, 2x6s) gave the team another four points.
Punjab pace spearhead Brainder Sran, who accounted for Chand and Gambhir, bagged two wickets but could not help Punjab continue their winning run after they had beaten Haryana in their first game.
Earlier put into bat, Punjab rode on Gurkeerat Singh's 35-ball 42 and Gurinder Singh's unbeaten 34 to post 159 for seven. Yuvraj Singh also contributed with 25 runs before falling to medium-pacer Pranshu Vijayran, who bagged three wickets. New-ball bowler Vikas Tokas and left-arm spinner Manan Sharma bagged two wickets each.
Second loss for Haryana
In other North Zone matches, Himachal Pradesh handed Haryana their second consecutive loss with a 45-run win in the second game at Kotla while Services stunned Jammu & Kashmir by 6 wickets.
Put into bat, the Bipul Sharma-led Himachal rode on opener Ankush Bains 54 and Rishi Dhawan's unbeaten 51 to post 153 for four in 20 overs. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra bagged two wickets. The Rahul Dewan-led Haryana faltered in their chase to finish on 108 for eight in their stipulated quota of overs.
In the final match of the day, Services also handed Jammu and Kashmir their second consecutive loss after the Pervez Rasool-led side lost to Delhi in its opening game.
Chasing 106 for a win, Services rode on Yashpal Singh's unbeaten 39 to achieve their target in 18.1 overs. Earlier Services medium-pacer Irfan Khan bagged four wickets to restrict J&K to 105 for nine in 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Match 1 - Punjab 159/7 in 20 overs (Gurkeerat Singh 42, Gurinder Singh 34 not out; Pranshu Vijayran (3-32) lost to Delhi 162/4 in 19.3 overs (Virender Sehwag 39, Nitish Rana 35, Vaibhav Rawal 31 not out; Brainder Sran 2-30).
Match 2 - Himachal Pradesh 153/4 in 20 overs (Ankush Bains 53, Rishi Dhawan 51 not out; Amit Mishra 2-22) beat Haryana 108/8 in 20 overs (Kuldeep Hooda 27, Guntashveer Singh 25; Rishi Dhawan 3-19, Pankaj Jaiswal 2-14, Rahul Singh 2-17).
Match 3 - Jammu and Kashmir 105/9 in 20 overs (Ian Chauhan 19, Waseem Raza 21 not out; Irfan Khan 4-14) lost to Services 106/4 in 18.1 overs (Yashpal Singh 39 not out, Vikas Hathwala, 30, Rajat Paliwal 20 not out; Ram Dayal 2-21).