Haryana trotted to an easy 32- run win over Punjab in the North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy opening match at PCA Stadium on Tuesday. A match of North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy between hosts Punjab and Haryana in progress at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in SAS Nagar on Tuesday.
If on one hand Haryana batsmen were guilty of not capitalising on a good start, which saw them make 60 runs off 3.5 overs, Punjab batsmen also wasted the good work of their bowlers in chase of a measly target of 137.
Haryana were off to a flying start with openers Avi Barot and Rahul Dewan adding 60 runs off just 3.5 overs.
Barot was more severe on Punjab bowlers scoring 27 runs off 14 balls with the help of four hits to the fence and one towering six, while Dewan added 38 runs off 29 balls inclusive of four boundaries and one six.
As Haryana looked like running away with the match, Manpreet Gony provided the much needed breakthrough. He had Barot nick one to keeper Gitansh Khera with 60 runs on board.
After that spinners held sway for Punjab by not only stifling Haryana batsmen for runs, but also chipping away with wickets at regular intervals.
Punjab were duly back in the match after skipper Harbhajan Singh, getting enough purchase from the track, clean bowled Guntashveer Singh for one with 64 runs on board.
One-run later it was turn of Himanshu Chawla to give Haryana another setback. Chawla had Sachin Rana caught by Harbhajan for zero.
The three wickets in space of five runs brought the Haryana juggernaut to a halt.
Dewan who had been batting sensibly for his 38 was next to depart, trying to play a big shot. He became the second victim of Harbhajan, who bowled an economical spell of four overs for just 12 runs.
Nitin Saini and Joginder Sharma stitched a match saving partnership to help Haryana post a decent total of 136.
While Saini’s 23 came off 22 balls inclusive of two fours, Shar ma used long- handle to good ef fect hitting two sixes and a four for his 23 off 16 balls.
Chawla was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab taking three wickets for 23 runs, while Gony snared two wickets for 34 runs.
Chasing, Punjab started on a bad note. Haryana medium pacer Harshal Patel accounted for Punjab opener Ravi Inder Singh for three runs with just six runs on board.
Next in Mandee p Singh added 18 runs with the other opener Manan Vohra before getting caught in deep by Yuzvendra Chahal for four.
Vohra who had batted with aplomb for his 28 off 20 balls was next to depart castled in front of wicket by Jayant Yadav to reduce hosts Punjab to 44 for 3.
Punjab couldn’t recover from these three setbacks as the middle order simply catapulted in front of some tight bowling and superb fielding from Haryana side. A little pressure and few dot balls were enough to entice Punjab batsman to go for big shots only to perish.
From 44 for 3 Punjab were soon reduced to 58 for 6. Gurkeerat Singh (6), Sharad Lumba 92), Himanshu Chawla (8) departed in quick succession to expose the lower order.
Gitansh Khera tried to stem the rot by spending time in the middle but wickets kept falling around him.
Chahal clean bowled Khera for 11, while skipper Harbhajan was caught by Rahul Dewan off Harshal Patel. Manpreet Gony used the long handle to help Punjab past the 100-run mark but in the end it proved too little to late.
Gony remained unbeaten on 19, while Siddharth Kaul was playing at four as Punjab fell short by 32 runs.