Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015: Punjab pull off a thriller against Assam

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015: Punjab pull off a thriller against Assam

Mandeep Singh
Mandeep Singh was the star of the day in Vijay Hazare Trophy. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Assam sustained its 4th consecutive loss in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy as they are officially out of the knockout contest from Group A. With the 1-run victory at Gymkhana, Punjab has now registered its 3rd consecutive win after losing their first match against Mumbai.

Choosing to bowl on winning the toss, Assam opening bowlers Krishna Das and Abu Nehcim Ahmed couldn’t utilize the conditions in the first hour. Jiwanjot Singh and Pargat Singh played their strokes while being watchful towards the new ball. Pritam Das gave the breakthrough for Assam as Jiwanjot gave a simple catch to mid-off fielder trying to play across.

However, Pargat Singh changed his gears after a 67-run opening stand. Pargat lofted one over long off for maximum and followed it with a huge heave over the mid-wicket fence, with that he completed his fifty. Later he struck his 3rd six, this time striking the digital scoreboard. However, he didn’t last long as he holed out to the fielder at long-on after scoring 69.

Entertaining Yuvraj Singh:

Yuvraj Singh came to bat with chants from the small crowd present at Gymkhana. He announced his arrival with a six over the long off fence. He survived a run out scare when Assam’s captain dislodged stumps without the ball in his hands.

Soon he struck a huge six over midwicket and one more six over long off region into the media arena. Yuvraj struck his 4th six in innings’ 37th over with a slog sweep but fell in the same over trying to play a cut in Amit Verma’s bowling but ended up edging to the keeper.

Strong Finish:

While Pargat and Yuvraj were going strong, Mandeep Singh played an anchor role from the other end. Once he completed his fifty in 60 balls, he shifted his gears along with Gurkeerat Mann. Punjab went to 251 for 3 in 45 overs from 203 for 3 in 40 overs with Mandeep striking some great boundaries in all the parts of the ground.

The set batsmen turned more dangerous in the last overs with 56 runs coming from 46-48 overs. 48th over proved out to be a nightmare for Krishna Das as 25 runs came from it. Gurkeerat started the over with a 4, 6, 4 and Mandeep took over by striking a 6 and 4 and also brought up his century in just 88 balls. His 2nd fifty came in just 28 balls.

On other end, Gurkeerat brought up his fifty in just 31 balls and got dismissed in the penultimate over trying to clear long off. His innings of 62 off 36 with 7 fours and 3 sixes was a major contribution of the 128-run stand which came in just 70 balls with Mandeep Singh. Mandeep, who hit 12 fours and 3 sixes in his knock of 117 remained unbeaten helping his side to post 327 for 4.

Chasing 328 runs to win, Assam got off to a disastrous start with Siddharth Kaul striking twice. Pallav Das and Arun Karthick could only end up with binary numbers as Assam were 2 down for 15 runs in 3rd over.

However, another opener Sarupam Purkayastha and Amit Verma kept their side in chasing with regular boundaries. Their attack in the mandatory power play kept them in the hunt as they were going along with the required rate. Sarupam brought up his fifty in 42 balls while Verma completed his half century in 47 deliveries. The 124-run stand for 3rd wicket which came at run-a-ball pace got broken when Verma hit one straight to midwicket off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling.

Sarupam kept Assam in the game along with his captain Gokul Sharma, who gave him a good support. Assam needed 150 odd runs in last 20 overs and Sarupam started to accelerate. With a boundary over 3rd man region, Sarupam brought up his maiden List A century. Later hit a couple of boundaries before holing out at deep square leg in Siddharth Kaul’s bowling after a brilliant innings of 125. Later Gokul Sharma also got out giving a catch to square leg, where Pargat took an excellent catch in the 43rd over after scoring 60 in just 55 balls.

Thrilling finish:

Syed Mohammad and Amit Sinha extracted extra runs cleverly with required run rate read just under 7. When 33 were needed from last 5 overs, Siddharth Kaul gave only 4 runs. The following over by Deepak Bansal costed just 2 runs also resulted in Syed Mohammad’s wicket who tried to play a cut. 48th over bowled by Siddharth Kaul went for 13 runs with Amit Verma smashing a six towards deep square leg beating Mandeep Singh by few inches and Wasiqur Rahman pulling one towards midwicket.

Deepak Bansal bowled yet another tight over as only 2 runs came in the 1st three balls of the penultimate over when 14 were needed from 12 balls. However, with a scoop over keeper Rahman brought down the equation to 8 from 8. However, he got out on following ball trying to repeat the shot.

Barinder Singh Sran mixed up lengths for Abu Nechim and Amit Verma as only 4 came from first 5 balls including 2 byes. Barinder bowled a shorter length delivery on the last ball of the game to Abu Nechim when 3 needed. Punjab won the game by a single run as the final delivery resulted in just one bye.

Brief Scores:

Punjab: 327/4 in 50 overs (Mandeep Singh 117*, Pargat Singh 69, Gurkeerat Mann Singh 62; Amit Verma 2/61)

Assam: 326/8 in 50 overs (Sarupam Purkayastha 125, Amit Verma 71, Gokul Sharma 60; Siddharth Kaul 74/3; Deepak Bansal 2/63)

Also check Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015: Day 4 review