Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Group B: All-round Dagar leaves Punjab tottering against Himachal

Mayank Dagar produced a sensational all-round performance, first scoring 71 with the bat and later picking up 4 for 22 to leave Punjab reeling at 75 for 9. Mayank’s 71 off 144 balls, including nine boundaries gave Himachal Pradesh a formidable first-innings total of 390. With Punjab one wicket away and behind by 315 runs, Himachal have strengthened their hold in the game.

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Punjab’s sorry batting display could be estimated from the fact that none of their top order batsmen could muster a double-digit score. Skipper Mandeep Singh endured a duck, while Yuvraj Singh was ruin out for 4. After Pankaj Jaiswal bowled a maiden over first up, he was replaced by Dagar and he straightaway made his presence felt by removing both openers Jiwanjot Singh and Abhijeet Garg. Arpit Guleria and Rishi Dhawan chipped in to break the back of Punjab’s lower order and at one stage, the home team’s score read a sorry 28 for 7. Vinay Choudhary and Shubek Gill tried to resist but all they could do was delay the inevitable.

Earlier, at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, Himachal resumed their innings at 244 for 5 before overnight batsmen Ankit Kalsi and Ekant Sen made steady progress. Sen became Sandeep Sharma’s third wicket before Dagar and Kalsi took over and saw Himachal past 350. Kalsi was on 82 when he was dismissed by Sandeep, but Dagar kept going strong. But the tail couldn’t hold on for long, and last man Gurvinder Singh was trapped LBW to Sandeep, who eventually finished with 5 for 101 in his comeback game.

Brief Scores: Punjab 75 for 9 (Vinay Chaudhary 24; Mayank Dagar 4 for 22), trail Himachal Pradesh 390 all out (Ankit Kalsi 82*, Dagar 71, Sandeep Sharma 5 for 101) by 315 runs.