Yuvraj Singh smashed eight boundaries and four sixes, facing 83 balls © PTI (File Photo)
Yuvraj Singh smashed eight boundaries and four sixes, facing 83 balls © PTI (File Photo)

Secunderabad: Out-of-favour India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh powered Punjab chase of 324 with a quickfire 98 as his team defeated Services by three wickets and qualify for the knockout stages of the Vijay Hazare cricket tournament on Friday. Opting to bowl, Punjab saw Services pile up 323 for seven with the help of twin centuries by Nakul Verma (113) and Soumya Swain (101) in the stipulated overs at the Railways Recreation Club Ground. Verma hit nine boundaries and a six in his 125-ball knock, while Swain needed just 90 balls to score his runs and struck 10 fours. UPDATES: Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16

In reply, Punjab were off to a solid start with openers Pargat Singh (49 off 39 balls) and Jiwanjot Singh (41 off 35) adding 82 runs for the first wicket in 10 overs. Mandeep Singh made 45 off 56 balls, while Mayank Sidhana scored 46 runs off 49 deliveries. However, it was Yuvraj who anchored the chase before skipper Harbhajan (16 not out) and Gitansh Khera (13) took the team past the daunting target. Yuvraj smashed eight boundaries and four sixes, facing 83 balls.

The matches are being played virtually every day which means that teams do not have enough time to recover from losses. Conversely, a team that is on a roll will be helped because their momentum stays intact. Karnataka are the current defending champions of Vijay Hazare Trophy, but the 2015-16 edition could see a new champion.