Gautam Gambhir started his preparations for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League in right earnest as his unbeaten 68 helped Delhi beat Punjab by six wickets in a North Zone leg encounter of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in Gurgaon.
Chasing a target of 161, Delhi knocked off the required runs with five balls to spare. Delhi got four points from the match while Punjab lost their second game.
Gambhir played 54 balls and hit six boundaries and two sixes -- one off left-arm spinner Rajwinder Golu and other off seamer Sandeep Sharma over deep mid-wicket. However, Gambhir was dropped twice in the deep and had a charmed life at the crease.
Along with Virender Sehwag, he added 76 runs for the opening wicket before the former was run out failing to ground his bat. Sehwag scored 36 off 26 balls with five boundaries.
Unmukt Chand played an irresponsible shot off the very first ball that he faced as his slash of Amitoze Singh's bowling was taken by Ravi Inder Singh.
But Puneet Bisht (32, 22 balls, 3x4, 1x6) and Gambhir added 52 runs in little more than six overs to seal the issue.
It was skipper Rajat Bhatia, who smashed a boundary through deep mid-wicket off Sandeep's bowling, who finished off the match.
Brief Scores: Punjab 160/7 (Gurkeerat Singh 57, Mayank Sidhana 35, Varun Sood 2/24, Pawan Negi 2/36)
Delhi 162/4 in 19.1 overs (Gautam Gambhir 68 no, Virender Sehwag 36, Puneet Bisht 32). Delhi won by 6 wickets.
Points: Delhi 4; Punjab 0.