Haryana end capital jinx
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May be there is something in the air at Lahli that leads to dramatic endings. After conceding three matches, all nail-biting finishes, Haryana finally tasted success against Delhi to record their first outright win this season. The 84-run verdict, which gave them six points, was Haryana's first over their fancied opponents in 42 years.
The match turned on its head after tea. At the final break Delhi were comfortably placed at 152 for 4 and the batsmen at the wicket were Mithun Manhas, with the experience of over 100 First-Class games, and the seasoned all-rounder Raja Bhatia. The experienced duo had already added 47 runs till then.
It seemed that this pair would take Delhi to safety. However, Bhatia was dismissed by leg-spinner and Haryana captain Amit Mishra's stock delivery. His 92-minute vigil, during which he faced 68 balls for his 32, ended when an outside edge carried to Sachin Rana positioned at slip as part of an umbrella-field in place.
Two balls later, Rahul Diwan at silly point took a stunning catch to dismiss Punit Bisht, again off Mishra. Suddenly, Delhi were in a spot of bother at 173 at 6. But Manhas, a veteran of many a back against the wall innings, was still at the wicket and Delhi had hope, even against a classy Mishra.
When Sumit Narwal started off by hitting Mishra for a six, the Haryana captain sensed a late change in momentum. He immediately brought on seamers Mohit Sharma and Harshal Patel into the attack.
The pair of Manhas and Narwal added 23 runs for the seventh wicket. Narwal didn't last long and edged to wicket-keeper Nithin Saini. Manhas took over the role of the senior batsmen and protected the tail. For a while it seemed like it would be Manhas' day as three of the catches he offered were spilled.
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