Amit Pachhara, the 21-year old on T20 debut, led Services to a four-wicket victory off the penultimate ball of a 15-overs-a-side game against Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala. Pachhara came to the crease with his team on 48 for 4 in the sixth over chasing 129, and struck an unbeaten 47 off 30 balls, with three sixes and three fours. His knock redressed a top-order wobble after Pankaj Jaiswal took two wickets in two overs to spur Himachal Pradesh’s hopes of defending their total. They had got to 128 with a late surge from Amit Kumar (34 off 24), Rishi Dhawan (37* off 24) and Bipul Sharma (10* off 4) but as has become custom, the side chasing in a shortened game came out on top.
In a match where batsmen outside of the top four in either team couldn’t score in double figures, Haryana inflicted a collapse on Punjab to win by 47 runs. Haryana posted 153 after being put in, thanks to a 73-run alliance for the second wicket between debutant Shubham Rohilla (37 off 34) and Rajat Paliwal (44 off 39). No. 4 batsman Shivam Chauhan, also on debut, then hit a 24-ball 41 even as the middle order collapsed around him to lift Haryana to 153 for 7. In reply, Punjab’s loss of an early wicket was offset by Manan Vohra (24 off 27) and Jaskaranveer Singh (27 off 20), as the pair put on 45 for the second wicket. But they succumbed to the spin duo of Jayant Yadav and Rahul Tewatia, who finished with figures of 3 for 23 between them in eight overs. Sanjay Pahal then stuck to the pattern of memorable debuts, as he ran through the lower-middle order to finish with 3 for 8. Punjab folded for 106.
Unmukt Chand struck an unbeaten 49 as Delhi made light work of Jammu & Kashmir’s 104-run target, winning by six wickets with 22 balls to spare. Only two J&K batsmen – Shubham Khajuria and Pranav Gupta – managed to cross 20 after they were put in to bat. Left-arm spinner Manan Sharma applied the brakes to take 2 for 13 off his four overs. Delhi were rocked early when they lost Gautam Gambhir in the second over. Chand then added 61 with Shikhar Dhawan (30) to help Delhi drive ahead and smoothen the passage for victory.
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