Nikhil Gangta top-scored for HP © Getty Images ( Representational Photo)
Nikhil Gangta top-scored for Himachal Pradesh © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

New Delhi: Dec 9, 2014

The Himachal Pradesh lower-order showed its might with the Bipul Sharma-led side gaining a sizable first-innings lead to be in command against Services on Day 3 of the Group C Ranji Trophy cricket match, here today.

Starting on their overnight score of 255 for six in the four-day encounter, Himachal rode a brilliant 99 from No.8 batsman Nikhil Gangta to post 479 and gain a 253-run lead.

Overnight batsman Rashmi Parida (58) was out early but Gangta carried on from where he left and stitched a ninth-wicket 77-run partnership with Karanveer Singh (27).

Then he found a partner in No.10 Vikramjeet Malik (59) to manage another 75-run 10th-wicket stand to further frustrate the Services bowlers.

Even the last man, Pankaj Jaiswal, contributed an unbeaten 41 as Gangta was unlucky to be run out and miss his second first-class century by just one run.

Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sakuja bagged 4 wickets as pace spearhead Suraj Yadav picked up 3.

At stumps, the Yashpal Singh-led Services had managed 91 for three with a trail of 162 runs.

Brief scores:

Services 226 and 91 for 3 (Pratik Desai 22, Sumit Chatterjee 27; Rishi Dhawan 1 for 27) trail Himachal Pradesh 479 (Nikhil Gangta 99, Ankush Bains, Vikramjeet Malik 59; Abhishek Sakuja 4 for 91) by 162 runs