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Vijay Hazare Trophy | A Karan-Upendra special helps UP to a win against Delhi to setup a clash against Gujarat

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Upendra Yadav's century sealed the deal for UP

BCCI | Twitter

Vijay Hazare Trophy | A Karan-Upendra special helps UP to a win against Delhi to setup a clash against Gujarat

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SportsCafe Desk

03/09/2021

After opting to field, Delhi got off to the best possible start, restricting Uttar Pradesh to 4-66 but a special partnership between Karan Sharma and Upendra Patel took UP to a total of 280, giving them an outside chance. With the ball, Delhi were reduced to 78-5 before the match went down the wire.

Brief scores: Uttar Pradesh 280/6 (Upendra Yadav 112, Karan Sharma 83; Pradeep Sangwan 2-49) beat Delhi 234 (Lalit Yadav 61, Anuj Rawat 47; Yash Dayal 3/43, Aksh Deep Nath 2/29) by 46 runs

After being put in to bat by Delhi skipper Pradeep Sangwan, Uttar Pradesh found themselves in a bit of bother, with the early exit of their openers - Abhishek Goswami and Madhav Kaushik. For Delhi, it was their skipper Sangwan, who got the ball rolling before fellow left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya picked up the wicket from the other end. In the span of the next two overs, Uttar Pradesh’s hopes on Priyam Garg to put on a show vanished in thin air, when the youngster was run-out, yet again without troubling the scorer, with a six-ball duck, with the scoreboard reading 25/3, leaving UP dead for rights. 

But as their season has shown thus far and domestic cricket, in particular, possibilities are endless and on a given day, anyone can raise their hand up for their state side, which was exactly the events that transpired at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. In Delhi’s home, Uttar Pradesh’s skipper Karan Sharma and Upendra Yadav found their comfort, after losing Aksh Deep Nath to the nonsense of a shot, down the leg-side. While Karan showed the full blade to the spinners, Upendra built his innings slow and steadily, with a brilliant century - 112 off 101 deliveries. Sameer Choudhary, who batted alongside Upendra took UP to an above-par total of 280, from a position of despair earlier for them.

Yash Dayal led the rout, with two wickets in the powerplay, including the prized scalp of Dhruv Shorey, with a stunning in-swinger, catching the Delhi batsman off-guard. Not just that, at 7-2, Delhi were miles away from the target, making it for a tight contest between the two sides. However, Himmat Singh and Nitish Rana led the recovery for the hosts - who just looked to build a partnership. But a double-wicket over from Aaqib Khan crushed those remaining hopes, as they fell down to 73-4. 

And when Rana got out, it was the final nail in Delhi’s coffin, or at least it looked like. However, Uttar Pradesh’s baffling strategy, bringing on part-timer Aksh Deep Nath instead of bringing back Shivam Mavi into the attack allowed Delhi to claw back in the encounter, needing 158 runs to win off the last 18 overs, with five wickets still remaining. Anuj Rawat and Lalit Yadav, for Delhi, kept the scoreboard ticking, with brilliant strokes. In the last ten, Delhi still needed 104 runs, with Rawat and Lalit this time well settled at the crease.

However, once Lalit got out, the jitters got to Delhi but they weren't afraid, given that they won their last game from such a precarious position. New batsman Pradeep Sangwan scored a six, rekindled the hopes for the Delhi fans. Despite a late drama, when Shivam Mavi's spell ended abruptly due to two no-balls and Sangwan's lusty blows, Aksh Deep Nath sealed the deal for UP. In the end, UP won the encounter comfortably by 46 runs to setup a date with Gujarat in the first semi-final. 

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