Bilaspur: Veterans Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir failed yet again as Jammu and Kashmir powered by their skipper Parveez Rasool shocked Delhi by two wickets in the opening match of the North Zone leg of the National One Day Championship for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
On a slow Bilaspur track, Delhi managed to score a below-par 212 for eight in 50 overs as skipper Gambhir scored a painstaking 36 off 75 balls while Sehwag, who is opening again, managed only 11 off 37 balls.
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir
In reply, Jammu and Kashmir won in 49.2 overs as skipper Rasool scored 74 off 90 balls with the help of 12 boundaries.
It was pacer Ram Dayal, who hit the winning boundary off left-arm spinner Pawan Negi to finish off the match in style.
Batting first, both Sehwag and Gambhir found it difficult to get going on a slowish track. A strike-rate of 29.73 is not what one associates with Sehwag if he has faced more than 30 balls.
Sehwag was gone edging one off pacer Samiullah Beigh (3/35) to wicketkeeper Obaid Haroon. Unmukt Chand (1) also edged one to Haroon off Beigh. Gambhir and top scorer Milind Kumar (61) batted for some time before the former India opener was bowled by Beigh.
Another veteran Mithun Manhas (8) was adjudged leg before off seamer Adil Rishi's bowling.
With four down for less than 100, Delhi required consolidation which was done by Milind and all-rounder Rajat Bhatia (50, 52 balls). While Milind was a bit slow taking 90 balls with four boundaries and a six, Bhatia played a brisk knock hitting seven fours.
During chase, it was Rasool, who played a pivotal role with some clean hitting as Hardeep Singh (21), Bandeep Singh (25) and Waseem Raza (27) gave him support.
In the end, it was Beigh (20 no) and Ram Dayal 7 no), who saw their team through.
For Delhi, Parvinder Awana (3/40) was the most successful bowler while Ashish Nehra (2/48 in 10 overs) also did a decent job.
Delhi 212/8 in 50 overs (Virender Sehwag 11, Gautam Gambhir 36, Milind Kumar 61, Rajat Bhatia 50, Samiuallah Beigh 3/35, Ram Dayal 2/47)
Jammu and Kashmir 216/8 in 49.2 overs (Parveez Rasool 74, Ashish Nehra 2/48). J&K won by 2 wickets.