Bhatia, Dhawan help Delhi post modest 213

Published: Friday, November 2, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Delhi: A sedate 75 by Rajat Bhatia and his 91-run fifth wicket partnership with Shikhar Dhawan saved Delhi the blushes as Pakistan restricted the hosts to 213 for 9 in 50 overs in their warm-up match here at the Firoz Shah Kotla Stadium on Friday.

It was the Pakistanis who expolited the conditions while Delhi batsmen failed to come up with a good showing in their own turf.

Pak skipper Shoaib Malik's decision to field after winning the toss turned out to be correct as his bowlers exploited the conditions and made Delhi batsmen struggle for runs and survival.

Younis Khan celebrated his appointment as vice captain with a superb, though surprising, bowling display as he claimed two crucial wickets conceding 25 runs off six overs.

Shoaib Akhtar, however, failed to make much impact as he took only one wicket, conceding 46 runs in his 10-over spell.

The visitors struck early as Umar Gul trapped opener Gautam Gambhir leg before when the score was seven. Younis then rattled Delhi as he trapped other opener Aakash Chopra leg before for a 42-ball 16 and bowled captain Mithun Manhas first ball with one that came in.

Imran Nazir ran out Virat Kohli for eight and Delhi were reduced to 46 for 4 in 12.5 overs.

Rajat Bhatia and Shikhar Dhawan batted cautiously and showed that there was no demons in the pitch but Shikhar (52) was run out when the pair looked all set for a big score.

Dhawan was out in unfortunate manner. Though he managed to reach the crease, his bat was hanging in the air when Younis hit back to run him out.

His 52 came off 80 balls and included one six and three boundaries. After that, Delhi lower order just failed to negotiate the spinners Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi, and Bhatia waged a lone battle from one end.

Bhatia looked comfortable against the fast bowlers as he hooked and cut Shoaib Akhtar with ease. He was also run out in a bid to accelerate the score. His 75 came off 107 balls and included one six and seven hits to the fence.

Gaurav Chabra then helped Delhi get past 200 as he hit 16 off 17 balls before Shoaib claimed him as his only victim.

Pakistan fielded 13 players in this match, though only 11 will bat.

Brief Score:

Delhi 213 for 9 in 50 overs (Rajat Bhataia 75, Shikhar Dhawan 52, Chabra 16; Younis Khan 2 for 25, Afridi 1 for 29, Gul 1 for 31, Akhtar 1 for 46) Vs Pakistan

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