Twenty-year-old Aryan Juyal did not have a good start to the Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with scores of nine and a duck in the first couple of outings. But the opening batter struck form with an unbeaten 120 to guide Uttar Pradesh to a convincing nine-wicket victory against Delhi on Saturday.
It was an incredible batting display by the youngster as he went hammer and tongs on the Delhi bowlers, and forged a 184-run opening stand with Madhav Kaushik (89; 101b), who missed out on a century by just eleven runs. Both Juyal and Kaushik executed the plans well and put pressure on the opponent right from the start in the chase of 244.
Juyal not only scored his first List A century, but also proved a point, with the national selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma watching the proceedings.
A former India U-19 player, the wicketkeeper-batter Juyal played a flawless innings, adapting to the conditions perfectly. With hardly any resistance from the Delhi bowlers, it was smooth sailing for the UP team, which had earlier managed to restrict Delhi to 243.
While Kaushik initially held fort at one end, Juyal hit a few boundaries, forcing Delhi captain Pradeep Sangwan to weigh several bowling options. But none of the plans worked as the two young batters from Uttar Pradesh flexed their muscles.
In the 34th over, Kaushik hit consecutive boundaries off Simarjeet Singh before he was caught at mid-on by Sangwan. As a heartbroken Kaushik walked back to the pavilion, nodding his head in disbelief, he received a standing ovation from the coaching staff and teammates.
By then, Uttar Pradesh had inched closer to victory and Juyal ensured that there was no slip-up. He then put on a 60-run alliance with captain Karan Sharma (not out 31; 29b) and the pair guided the team home with six overs to spare.
Winning the toss and inserting Delhi, pacer Shivam Mavi scalped four wickets, while Shivam Sharma and Yash Dayal bagged two apiece as the Delhi top-order struggled. Dhruv Shorey was trapped leg before by Mavi for one, while India international Shikhar Dhawan’s woes continued as he dismissed lbw by Mohsin Khan for just 14.
Delhi rebuilt with a 55-run stand between Himmat Singh and Jonty Sidhu, but Sharma removed both, putting the pressure back. The team, however, fought back with late half-centuries from Anuj Rawat (50, 45b) and Lalit Yadav (57, 60b), before Mavi furrowed the tail.
With two consecutive defeats, Delhi must win its remaining couple of matches to stay in contention for the knockouts.
At the Sector 16 Stadium: Delhi 243 in 49 overs (Lalit Yadav 57, Anuj Rawat 50; Shivam Mavi 4-48, Yash Dayal 2-35, Shivam Sharma 2-40) lost to Uttar Pradesh 244-1 in 43.5 overs (Aryan Juyal not out 120, Madhav Kaushik 89; Simarjeet Singh 1-53)
At the I.S. Bindra Stadium, Mohali: Hyderabad 221 in 49 overs (T Ravi Teja 63, Sumanth Kolla 32; Prerak Mankad 4-54) lost to Saurashtra 225-3 in 39 overs (Harvik Desai not out 101, Sheldon Jackson 65, Prerak Mankad 49; Kartikeya Kak 1-44, Tanay Thyagrajan 1-46, Mickil Jaiswal 1-50).
At Mullanpur: Haryana 281-3 (Himanshu Rana 94, Yashu Sharma 53; Rahul Shukla 1-59, Vivek Tiwari 1-53, Utkarsh Singh 1-25) beat Jharkhand 253 in 49.3 overs (Utkarsh Singh 78, Virat Singh 32; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-48, Sanjay Pahal 2-57)