Nineteen-year-old Tilak Varma staked his claim to be one of the sought-after choices at the IPL mega auction next year after his knock of 139 off 123 helped Hyderabad beat a strong Delhi by 79 runs on Thursday.
With Lucknow and Ahmedabad becoming home to the two newest IPL franchises, scouts from four teams watched on as Tilak sizzled with the bat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C fixture. After a convincing victory against Jharkhand in the opening fixture, Delhi skipper Pradeep Sangwan won the toss and inserted Hyderabad.
As it happened|
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Captain Tanmay Agarwal fell early in the innings. But Varma, batting at No. 3, looked composed before flexing his muscles.
Even though Delhi bagged a couple of quick wickets, Varma partnered with Chandan Sahani – 87 off 74 – to launch a fightback. The former India U-19 player made the most of the good batting surface. While there were a couple of half-chances, Varma targetted Simarjeet Singh and Kulwant Khejroliya, while ensuring that the seasoned Sangwan did not make further inroads.
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With fine footwork and solid defence, Varma kept the scoreboard ticking. From 94-3 in 22.5 overs, Hyderabad was cruising at 246-3 in the 42nd over, with Varma and Sahani stitching a solid 152-run partnership. With pressure mounting, there were slipups in the field.
Though Khejroliya dismissed Sahani and Buddhi Rahul in quick intervals, Varma ensured the team was on course for a big total.
As he reached his century, Varma waved the bat at his teammates in jubilation. By the time Sangwan cleaned him up, Hyderabad had reached the 300-run mark.
Delhi pinned its hopes on Shikhar Dhawan (12, 11b), who looked promising with a couple of boundaries. With Chetan Sharma – the chairman of the national selection committee – present at the venue, it was an opportunity for Dhawan to prove a point ahead of India’s tour of South Africa. But before he could get going, Dhawan was caught at cover point by Sahani off Kartikeya Kak. A couple of overs later, Kak removed Dhruv Shorey, and Delhi was suddenly reeling at 29-2. Even though the centurion of the last match, Himmat Singh (47, 65b) forged two alliances – with Lalit Yadav and Anuj Rawat – the efforts were not enough to guide the team home.
Pacers Kak and CV Milind shared two wickets apiece, while left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagrajan picked three to furrow the Delhi tail and keep Hyderabad unbeaten.
At the I.S. Bindra International Stadium: Hyderabad 325-6 (Tilak Varma 139, Chandan Sahani 87; Pradeep Sangwan 2-49, Kulwant Khejroliya 2-64) beat Delhi 246-9 in 50 overs (Himmat Singh 47, Anuj Rawat 36; Tanay Thyagrajan 3-33, Kartikeya Kak 2-28, C.V. Milind 2-58)
At Sector 16 Stadium: Haryana 127 in 38.4 overs (Chaitanya Bishnoi 41; Dharmendra Jadeja 4-14) lost to Saurashtra 131-5 (Arpit Vasavda 38, Prerak Mankad not out 27; Yuzvendra Chahal 2-31, Rana 2-37)
At Mullanpur: Uttar Pradesh 239-7 (Rinku Singh 104; Rahul Shukla 3-51, 2-36) lost to Jharkhand 242-2 in 46.1 overs (Mohammad Nazim Siddiqui 116, Utkarsh Singh not out 57; Shivam Mavi 1-29)