Vijay Hazare Trophy, 1st Q/F: Robin Bist's unbeaten ton takes Himachal to the semis

Vijay Hazare Trophy, 1st Q/F: Robin Bist's unbeaten ton takes Himachal to the semis

Mandeep Singh in Vijay Hazare
Mandeep Singh’s century in the 1st Q/F of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015 ended on a losing cause. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Himachal Pradesh won the toss and elected to field against a strong Punjab line-up. Rishi Dhawan backed his skipper’s decision by getting the better of opener Pargat Singh in the very first over of the game. Mandeep Singh and Jiwanjot Singh built a solid foundation of 51 runs before the latter was dismissed for 20 by Pankaj Jaiswal.

Young Mandeep carried on the good work by displaying a large array of strokes. He steadied the ship and never let a fall of wicket disturb the momentum. He towered one six and nine boundaries to notch up a vital century when mattered.

Yuvraj Singh who made the cut for the Australia tour failed to disturb the scorers after Robin Bist took a smart catch to send back the southpaw. The middle order played their part well to push the scores to 263 after Gurkeerat and wicketkeeper Gitansh Kheera played vital knocks. Skipper Harbhajan Singh played a vital cameo of 13 balls 25 to pose a challenging total in front of Himachal.

Chasing 264, both Ankush Bains and Prashant Chopra got out cheaply as Himachal were restricted at 23/2. The going looked tough but Robin Bist played a match winning knock of 109, courtesy nine breathtaking boundaries, and he was rightly supported by Rishi Dhawan and Paras Dogra. Siddharth Kaul was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab, scalping three wickets, but the efforts went in vain, as Nikhil Gangta played a late blast of 39 runs, with three sixes to take Punjab to the finishing line.

Himachal lost wickets at regular intervals, but the batsmen never went under the shackle and ticked the scoreboard during the drought. Punjab’s emphatic run was cut short by a spirited Himachal side, as Mandeep’s brilliant century was overshadowed by Bist’s unbeaten ton.

Brief Scores:

Punjab- 263/8 in 50 overs (Mandeep 119; Jaiswal 3/50)

Himachal Pradesh- 266/5 in 49.2 overs (Bist 109*; Kaul 3/42)

Man of the match: Robin Bist (Himachal Pradesh)