Batting continued to be their weak link as Punjab struggled to 212 for seven on Day One of their Super League Group A match against Tamil Nadu at the Gandhi Ground Stadium on Tuesday.
Things could have been worse for the hosts had it not been for Pankaj Dharmani’s unbeaten 74. Electing to bat first, with as many as four changes to the side that played the last match, Punjab openers Ravi Inder Singh and Vishwas Bhalla saw off the early movement, but failed to convert their starts into substantial knocks.
Last game centurion Bhalla was the first to go, losing his off stumps while trying to play across the line against R. Sathsih. Yo Mahesh dislodged Ravi Inder’s stumps after the batsman failed to read the line.
On the back foot after losing their openers early, Punjab needed a big partnership but a run out, which ended Uday Kaul’s brief stay at wicket, spoilt their plans.
At 62 for three, Punjab were not in a very comfortable situation.
But the experienced Pankaj Dharmani showed a lot of character and determination during an innings that saw him hit 10 boundaries. Dinesh Karthik gave Dharmani a life when the Punjab right-hander was batting on 46 --- the Tamil Nadu keeper missed an easy stumping.
Assisting Dharmani in the rescue operation was all-rounder Gaurav Gambhir, who scored a valuable 28. At stumps, debutant Bharat Loomba was giving Dharmani company.
At Amritsar: Punjab 212 for seven (P. Dharmani 74*) vs Tamil Nadu.