New Delhi: Defending champions Delhi were back to winning ways on Monday as they comfortably beat Himachal Pradesh by five wickets in a north zone leg match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy to put themselves in contention for a place in the knock-out round of the tournament.
Chasing 231 for a win on a slowish track, youngsters Unmukt Chand (51), Jagrit Anand (61) and Milind Kumar (57 not out) struck half-centuries to clinch the issue for Gautam Gambhir's team.
An interesting incident happened after the match as Gambhir and controversial pitch curator Venkat Sundaram spoke to each other for a couple of minutes, apparently discussing about the pitch for the next game against Haryana. Gambhir and Sundaram had an ugly spat before the commencement of the tournament.
There were awkward moments during the meeting of Gambhir and Sundaram which happened in the presence of coach Sanjeev Sharma and another veteran Mithun Manhas.
As they were having a keen look at the strip, Gambhir took a red cricket ball and started bouncing it. Sundaram's face grew pale as the ball would not bounce above the knee. Having seen what he needed to, Gambhir then retired to the confines of the dressing room.
As for the match, young Jagrit Anand, who only came to know half an hour before the match that he is playing instead of Virender Sehwag, who pulled out in the morning complaining of "sickness", gave a good account of himself.
He and Chand added 79 runs for the second wicket. Chand hit three fours and a six in his 80-ball knock while Anand, who played with straight bat, hit four boundaries and a six facing 89 balls in the process.
Unmukt hit a lovely six off spinner Gurvinder Singh but was holed out immediately after the completion of his half century.
Gambhir (14) did not have a good match as he nicked one to wicketkeeper Ankush Bains behind the stumps.
Milind, who cracked five fours in 68 balls, added 67 runs for the fifth wicket in less than 11 overs with Yogesh Nagar (31) to seal the issue for Delhi.
Brief Scores: HP 230 in 49.5 overs (Bipul Sharma 57, Prashant Chopra 49, Varun Sood 4/54).
Delhi 234/5 (Unmukt Chand 51, Jagrit Anand 61, Milind Sharma 57 not out).
Delhi won by 5 wickets. Points: Delhi 4; HP 0.