Nitish Rana continued his blazing form as he pulverised Irfan Pathan-led Baroda to help Delhi win by five wickets en route their entry into quarter-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament with an all-win record. (Latest Cricket News)
Batting first, Baroda managed a decent 153 for six in 20 overs. Australia bound T20 specialist Hardik Pandya warmed up nicely with an unbeaten 51-ball-81 that had five boundaries and six sixes. Left-arm spinners Manan Sharma bowled well to grab 4/17 in four overs.
In reply, Delhi finished the match with three balls to spare riding on left-hander Rana's 29-ball-53 that had three boundaries and five sixes. Opener Unmukt Chand's 29-ball-38 and Milind Kumar's unbeaten 29 off 24 balls also proved to be significant contribution in the final context of the match.
Gautam Gambhir's pathetic show in the tournament continued as he got 9 off 15 balls.
Rana blasted Baroda captain Irfan, who went for no less than 36 runs in four overs.
Delhi thus finished the group league engagements with full 24 points from six games while Baroda despite the loss made it to the last eight with 20 points.
For the 22-year-old Rana, this has been a great tournament so far as his sequence of scores will suggest.
34 from 15 balls, 97 from 40 balls, 28 from 15 balls and now 53 off 29 balls. The only failure (5) came against Goa and he did not bat against Assam.
He has the best strike-rate amongst the top-10 run-getters in the tournament with a staggering 199.08 and also has hit the maximum number of sixesÂ so far -- 19 in all.
Brief Scores: Baroda 153/6 (Hardik Pandya 81 no, Manan Sharma 4/17) lost to Delhi 156/5 (Nitish Rana 53, Unmukt Chand 38, Milind Kumar 29) by 5 wickets.