Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Group B, round 5: Himachal on the cusp of crushing win over Punjab

Himachal Pradesh closed in on an innings win as Punjab produced another abysmal performance with the bat and were positioned at 195 for 8 in the second innings, behind by 111 runs. After being bowled out for 84 in the first innings, Himachal enforced a follow on, but Punjab’s second innings show was no different than the one displayed in the first dig with Abhijeet Singh top-scoring with 48 and Gurvinder Singh claiming 4 for 43 at stumps at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

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Punjab could add just nine runs to their overnight score of 75, before Pankaj Jaiswal removed the final wicket of Raghu Sharma. Walking out to bat in the second innings, opener Jiwanjot Singh was dismissed cheaply by Arpit Guleria for Himachal’s first breakthrough. A second-wicket partnership between Abhijeet and Abhishek Gupta seemed to be driving Punjab towards steadiness but Gurvinder broke the stand to bring Himachal back.

Punjab’s middle order, put on a repeat of their first-innings performance with Yuvraj Singh scoring nine before being dismissed by Mayank Dagar. Star of first innings, Dagar then dismissed experienced campaigner Gurkeerat Singh Mann for 33, while contributing to the run out of captain Mandeep Singh. Gurvinder returned to snare two more wickets to shift the momentum heavily in Himachal’s favour.

Brief Scores: Punjab 195 for 8 (Abhijeet Garg 48, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 33; Gurvinder Singh 4 for 43) and 84 all out, trail Himachal 390 all out by 111 runs.