Palam: Services produced a dominating performance to thrash Group C leaders Assam by 10 wickets to register their first outright win of the season here at Palam on Monday. After Rajat Paliwal's enterprising 167, Shadab Nazar (6 for 50) ran through the Assam batting line-up late on day three to bundling out the visitors for 170.
Set a target of just 27, Soomik Chatarjee and Ansuhl Gupta sealed the win in under eight overs to claim the bonus point with a day to spare. This was the 26-year-old Nazar’s second five-wicket haul in his debut season and he finished with a match haul of eight wickets. With this win Services have jumped to second spot in the standings with 14 points, but Assam still are table toppers with 16.
Earlier in the day, Assam’s bowlers took just nine overs to take the remaining two wickets as Services ended their first innings on 326, a lead of 144. Of the overnight batsmen, tailender Nishan Singh was the first to go after adding 25 to the total when he edged a good-length delivery to wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh. His stand with Rajat Paliwal was worth 92 in 182 balls. Paliwal also departed immediately after to give Dhiraj Goswami his third wicket. Abu Nechim and Aroop Das also finished with three wickets each.
In their second innings, Assam once again faltered as they were reduced to 43 for 3 going into lunch. The captain Dheeraj Jadhav was the first to go for 1 when he chased a wide delivery from Nishan and nicked to the wicketkeeper. Nishan then scalped GK Sharma for 5, the batsman having shuffled across his crease to a ball which nipped back in after pitching. The opener Pallavkumar Das and Amit Sinha then went into total defence mode.
The pair scored 12 runs in 32 balls but Nishan got the breakthrough trapping Pallavkumar leg before wicket for 13. Nazar then struck a double blow scalping Sinha (20) and Hokaito Zhimomi (0) in one over to leave the visitors reeling at 56 for 5, trailing Services by 88 runs.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rajdeep Das and Tajinder Singh then played some good shots to get a move on as they tried to erase off the deficit quickly. The pair scored 29 together but Das perished to the low bounce of the track getting lbw off the bowling of Nishan for 21. Nazar got his third wicket in the form of Goswami courtesy a caught-and-bowled late into the second session.
By tea, Assam were 110 for 7 but some rearguard resistance by Tejinder (54) and Nechim (38) erased the deficit. Though Nazar again struck twice in an over removing Tajinder and Aroop Das. Nechim then opened up by hitting a six and a four off one Suraj Yadav over before he was the last wicket to fall as Assam slumped to their first defeat of the season.