By Siddarth Sharma, UBA Columnist
Chennai, 27th February 2017: A resurgent Delhi Capitals hold on to a comfortable lead to defeat the Haryana Gold 114-101 thanks to strong contributions from five players finishing in double digits.
Delhi Capitals fielded a starting five of lineup of Amjyot Singh, Ronald March, Ajay Pratap Singh, Smithin Settu and Vinay Kaushik. Haryana Gold started with a lineup of Prakash Mishra, Eban Hyams, De’Sean Mattox, Jaskaran,and Birender Singh.
Haryana started off strong as they took a 16-8 lead behind De’Sean Mattox, who came into this contest averaging 29 points a game. Prakash Mishra started off the game by hitting an effortless three pointer, showing why he’s one of India’s greatest shooters. Ronald March answered back in the open court with two as Delhi mounted their comeback. At the end of the first quarter, Delhi led Haryana 29-25. They were led by 14 points from Ronald March while Haryana were led by Mattox’s 11
Yadwinder opened the second quarter with an up and under move for two inside. Bek hit a long two to give Delhi a 33-27 lead and Anil added two in transition as Delhi threatened to run away with the lead. Akashdeep capitalized on his size to bring Haryana within 42-37 with a pair of buckets up close. Sridhar hit a three while being fouled. At the end of the second quarter, Delhi led Haryana 59-46.
Anil and Mattox exchanged layups to start the second half. Vinay’s three pointer pushed Delhi’s lead to 71-51 as Delhi threatened to run away with the game. While in some of their past games they were led by March and Amjyot, they found important contributions from numerous sources. Mattox brought Haryana within 74-57 as they battled valiantly to stay in the game. At the end of the third quarter, Delhi led Haryana 84-73.
Eban opened the fourth quarter with a twisting layup inside and March answered him with a floating layup inside. Amjyot Singh shone in the fourth as he hit March for an alley-oop and followed it with five quick points to push Delhi’s lead to 95-79 with 7 minutes left in the game. Eban’s three pointer brought Haryana within 107-98 with 2:42 left in the game. March answered on the other end to help Delhi hold on for the win.
For Delhi the role players stepped up as Anil scored 19, Muin Bek had 16, and Vinay Kaushik had 12 to help them overcome Haryana. Delhi also moved the ball aroud well as they had 35 assists on 42 made field goals. They also outrebounded Haryana 46-35. De’Sean Mattox had an off night as he shot 8 of 23 from the field, but he was efficient and aggressive by going to the free throw line to shoot 13 of 14. With this loss, Haryana were firmly knocked out of the playoff picture as Delhi etched their spot in the play-in game.
Players of the game: Ronald March (International), Anil (Indian)
Delhi Capitals (Ronald March 35 pts, Anil 19 pts, Muin Bek 16 pts) bt Haryana Gold 114-101 (De’Sean Mattox 29 pts, Prakash Mishra 18 pts, Akashdeep Hazraa 15 pts)