Weary Delhi, without the services of veteran pros Shekhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma, slipped to their second successive defeat, losing to Karnataka by four wickets in a low-scoring Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday.
Batting first at JU’s (Salt Lake) ground, Delhi compiled for 159 in 45.4 overs on a slow surface. Seamer Vasuki Kaushik took 3 for 23 in 10 overs while Shreyas Gopal polished the tail-spinner, finishing with figures of 3/25.
In reply, opener Ravikumar Samarth tied the match with 59 off 73 balls while veteran Manish Pandey hit four sixes in a 37-ball 48 as Karnataka scored runs inside 30 balls.
Delhi have now lost two of their last four matches after being knocked out as runners-up to Rajasthan in the previous match.
While Dhawan, who had warmed up well for the ODI series outside New Zealand with scores of 47 and 54 in the first two matches, had to leave on national duty, Ishant was resting as part of managing his workload.
Ishant does not play back-to-back games because his body will not be able to recover from the rigors of 50+ games with a gap in the day.
The pitch at JU (Salt Lake Ground) over the past two decades has been traditionally low and slow, and Delhi players have really struggled with IPL specialists Nitish Rana (30 off 43 balls) and Lalit Yadav (59 off 100 balls) making some contributions, which will never be enough.
At one point, Delhi were reduced to 66 for 6 and were in danger of being bowled for less than 100. But Lalit and Lakshay Thareja (15) added 44 runs for the seventh wicket to give the total some semblance of respect.
Summary Delhi scores 159 in 45.4 overs (Lalit Yadav 59, Nitish Rana 30, Vasuki Kaushik 3/23, S Gopal 3/25). Karnataka 161/6 in 29.4 overs (Ravikumar Samarth 59, Manish Pandey 48, Mayank Yadav 4/47). Karnataka won by 4 weeks.
Rajasthan 270 in 49 overs (Yash Kothari 139, Rahul Shukla 5/53) Jharkhand 271/5 in 49 overs (Utkarsh Singh 91, Saurabh Tiwary 76). Jharkhand won by 5 weeks.
Assam 307/8 (Ryan Parag 128, Sumit Singh 2/64) Sikkim 127 in 36 overs (Sunil Lachit 3/33). Assam won by 180 runs.
Meghalaya 111 in 40 overs (Rajesh Bishnoi 53, Nachiket Putt 4/21) Vidarbha 113/1 in 27.1 overs (Aditya Sarawat 48). Vidarbha won by 9 wickets. PTI KHS.