Shikhar Dhawan smashed an unbeaten 42 as Delhi decimated Assam by eight wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday. (AFP)
New Delhi: Left-arm spinner Varun Sood took 4/36 and opener Shikhar Dhawan smashed an unbeaten 42 as Delhi decimated Assam by eight wickets, in their pre-quarter final clash of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday.
After scuttling out the visitors for 94 in 32.5 overs, Delhi romped home in the 21st over for the loss of just two wickets.
The home team, who maintained their 100% record by bringing up their sixth successive win of the competition, will now take on Railways in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Delhi called the shots right from the start after their captain Rajat Bhatia won the toss and elected to field first.
In spite of losing the services of Ashish Nehra early on due to a hamstring injury, the hosts got their breakthrough in the seventh over of the innings when opening bat Pallab Das was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Pradeep Sangwan for just eight.
Sangwan who was bowling with good pace and in the right areas, struck again when he bowled Amit Singha for a duck to reduce Assam to 25/2.
The left-arm fast medium bowler proved to be a real handful for the opposition who were given no room whatsoever to play their shots.
Skipper Bhatia then got into the act taking back-to-back wickets of Sib Shankar Roy (0) and Dhiraj Jadhav (23), who turned out to be the highest scorer of the innings, as Assam slumped to 36/4.
Left-arm spinners, Sood and Pawan Negi then took over as the visitors lost their last six wickets for 58 runs to be all out in the 33rd over.
The domination enjoyed by the two bowlers was highlighted by the mode of dismissals. While both of Negi’s victims were stumped, three of the four batsmen who fell to Sood were bowled.
A target of 95 was never going to be anywhere near challenging and the Delhi batsmen went about their business with the minimum of fuss.
Openers, Unmukt Chand and Dhawan put on 35 runs for the first wicket before the former fell to pacer Dhiraj Goswami.
Having already hit the bowler for a couple of boundaries in the over, a forceful shot off his hips and a square cut through the vacant third man region, Unmukt perished when flayed at one outside his off stump to be caught by wicketkeeper Rajdeep Das for 22.
New man, Mohit Sharma did not last long as he played across the line to left-arm spinner Deepak Gohain to fall leg-before-wicket for just seven.
With the finishing line well in sight, next man in Mithun Manhas along with Dhawan stepped things up after the lunch break in a bid for an early finish.
While Manhas was severe on Tarjinder Singh, bludgeoning the hapless bowler for a couple of fours and a maximum, Dhawan hit Gohain through the covers for his sixth boundary in the next over to settle the issue in his team's favour.
Delhi coach, Sanjeev Sharma attributed the crushing victory to the team's bowling unit.
"The two early wickets put Assam under pressure and the turning point was the wicket of Dhiraj Jadhav."
"It was our sixth match here and we knew exactly what we had to do," Sharma said.