Punjab collected three points in a drawn game against Chandigarh on first innings lead in their opening Ranji Trophy match which concluded at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mullanpur on Friday.
Chasing a mammoth 586 posted by the Punjab, Chandigarh averted the looming defeat by scoring 389 in the first innings. For Chandigarh, Gaurav Puri (131) and Arjit Singh (121) made useful contributions. Made to bat again in their second innings, Chandigarh was struggling at 92/6 when the stumps were drawn.
Earlier, while resuming their overnight score of 310/6, Chandigarh just added another ten runs when Gurinder Singh (17) lost his wicket. Thereafter, Arjit Singh shared a 60-run off 259 balls partnership with Sandeep Sharma to dominate the pre-lunch session. Left-arm spinner Vinay Chowdhary marked the end of Sandeep Sharma (9) who faced 139 balls with 380/8 on the board. Post lunch witnessed the departure of Guarav Puri’s innings as he scored 131 runs off 304 balls with 16 boundaries. With Jagjit Sandhu (1) and unbeaten Rohit Dhanda (7), Chandigarh managed 389 runs in 174.2 overs. Medium-pacer Baltej Singh (3/48) took three wickets while Sanvir (2/36) and Mayank Markande (2/95) shared two each.
Trailing by 197 runs, Chandigarh’s second innings got off to a dismal start when Baltej Singh scalped Mohammed Arslan Khan (0) and skipper Manan Vohra (0) without troubling the scorer in the first two balls of the innings. Baltej claimed his third victim in his same spell when he bowled out Arjit Singh (10) with 25/3 on the board. He was well supported by Vinay Chaudhary at the other bowling end and reduced the half side at 34 as Bhagmender Lather and Gaurav Puri went for respective ducks in the 14th over.
Later, Ankit Kaushik and Kunal Mahajan shared a 47-run partnership and didn’t allow opposition to bounce back in the match. Ankit (49) fell one short of his half century. Chandigarh scored 96/6 with unbeaten batters – Kunal Mahajan (25) and Sandeep Sharma (5) to draw the match.
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