Shikhar Dhawan's lean patch continued but Delhi still managed to register a comfortable 77-run win over Maharashtra in their opening Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament on Thursday. Delhi made 167 for five after being invited to bat and then produced a disciplined bowling effort to bundle out Maharashtra for 90 in 17.2 overs. Part-time off-spinner Nitish Rana stole the show with the ball with figures of four for 17. But the spotlight was clearly on Dhawan (24 off 22 balls) after Delhi were put into bat at the C B Patel Ground, and the left-handed opener started well in the company of Hiten Dalal (16 off 13 balls) as the duo put on 44 for the opening stand in 5.3 overs.
Dhawan looked in good touch, hammering two fours and a six during his brief stay but yet again he threw away his wicket.
Dhawan was dismissed by off-break bowler Shamshuzama Kazi in the seventh over as Delhi lost two quick wickets to slump to 44 for two. One down Anuj Rawat (10) too fell cheaply but skipper Dhruv Shorey (48 not out in 37 balls) resurrected the innings first in the company of Rana (21) and then Himmat Singh (32).
Shorey stitched 32 and 37-run partnerships for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively with Rana and Singh.
Shorey hit five fours and a six during his knock to take Delhi close to the 170-run mark. Maharashtra's chase never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals to fold inside 100 runs.
Barring young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (42), no other Maharashtra batsmen could manage double digit scores. Besides Rana, Simarjeet Singh (1/14), Lalit Yadav (1/20), Varun Sood (1/15) and Pranshu Vijayran (1/12) were the other wicket takers for Delhi.
Dhawan, meanwhile, suffered an injury on his left knee during fielding and had to be taken to a hospital for medical attention. He later posted a picture of a bandaged left knee on his twitter page but looked in jovial mood.
Dhawan, however, hinted that he would be back in action after for four-five days.
"We Fall, We Break, but then...We Rise. We heal and we overcome, and the only thing you have control over is how you respond to any situation. Here's to being positive and happy in every situation that life throws at you, Will be back in action in 4-5 days," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, riding on blazing fifties by KL Rahul and skipper Manish Pandey, defending champions Karnataka thrashed Tamil Nadu by nine wickets to begin their SuperLeague campaign in the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 on a winning note.
In the other two matches, Punjab thrashed Jharkhand by 109 runs with skipper Mandeep Singh top-scoring with an unbeaten 81.
At the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, Baroda defeated Rajasthan by 15 runs. For Baroda, opener Aditya Waghmode stuck a quick-fire 88.
Delhi 167/5 (Dhruv Shorey 48 not out, Himmat Singh 32; Shamshuzama Kazi 2-20) beat Maharashtra 90 all out (Ruturaj Gaikwad 42, Digvijay Deshmukh 9; Nitish Rana 4-17) by 77 runs.
Tamil Nadu 158/7 (Dinesh Karthik 43,Washington Sundar 39; Koushik Vasuki 2-23) lost to Karnataka161/1 (K L Rahul 69 not out; Manish Pandey 52 not out; AshwinMurugan 1-27) by nine wickets.
At C B Patel Ground: Punjab 199/4 (Mandeep Singh 81 not out; Abhishek Sharma 72; Shahbaz Nadeem 2-27) beat Jharkhand 90 all out (Utkarsh Singh 24, Virat Singh 15; Mayank Markande 3-13) by 109 runs.
At Lalbhai Contractor Stadium: Baroda 201/5 (Aditya Waghmode 88, Kedar Devdhar 64; Aniket Choudhary 2-27) beat Rajasthan 186/8 (Ankit Lamba 54, Arjit Gupta 41; Atit Sheth 3-34) by 15 runs.