Air India beat South Delhi Colts by four wickets to enter the quarter-finals of the ongoing All-India Goswami Ganesh Dutt memorial cricket tournament on Tuesday. Set a target of 230, Air India completed the formalities with five balls to spare at the St Stephen’s ground.
At one point, Air India were in danger of losing the grip on the match, when they were three down with only 51 on the board. But the timely 125-run partnership for the fourth wicket between skipper Shafiq Khan and Reetinder Singh Sodhi got them closer to the target, before both the set batsmen were dismissed.
It was left to Naman Sharma, who struck 23 in quick time, to see the 11-time champions home. Khan made a run-a-ball 79, including nine hits to the fence, while Sodhi contributed 47 to the total. For South Delhi Colts, Manish Bhatia struck thrice and Gaurav Gambhir took two wickets, in a losing cause.
Earlier, put into bat, the Colts were reeling at 89 for 6 in only 22.2 overs. And only a late-order burst by Nischal Gaur and Gaurav Gambhir, ensured that they put on a fighting total of 228 after the end of their innings. They put on 140-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Gaur struck six boundaries and four sixes in his 57-ball 81, while Gambhir made 54. Mohammad Arif, who made 32 and Amarjeet Singh (23), also contributed to the South Delhi Colts total.
For Air India, Sachin Rana was pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/57), while Amit Bakshi, Iresh Saxena and Ajit Chandela shared a wicket apiece.
Brief scores: South Delhi Colts 229 for 8 in 40 overs (Nishchal Gaur 81, Gaurav Gambhir 54, Mohammad Arif 32, Sachin Rana 2/57, Amit Bakshi 1/22, Iresh Saxena 1/44, Ajit Chandela 1/41); Air India 233 for 6 in 39.1 overs (Shafiq Khan 79, Chandan Madan 27, Reetinder Singh Sodhi 47, Naman Sharma 23 not out, Manish Bhatia 3/50, Gaurav Gambhir 2/39, Parveen Thapar 1/40)