Haryana-Himachal Ranji match ends in draw

Dharamsala: Riding on a 139-run second wicket partnership between Sangram Singh (89) and unbeaten VA Indulkar (62), Himachal Pradesh salvaged a draw against Haryana in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match at HPCA stadium here today.

At the close of play, Himachal scored 168 at the loss of two wickets in 51.5 overs in their second innings after losing opener Bhavin Thakkar (13) early in the 11th over, with 29 on board. The hosts were set a victory target of 360 runs by the visitors on the final day of the four-day tie.

While Haryana earned three points from the drawn match on the basis of their first innings lead, the hosts got one.

As against Haryana’s 316 all out in their first innings, Himachal managed to score 206 all out in the first outing, handing out the visitors a good 110-run lead on the penultimate day.

In their second essay today, Haryana, resuming at their overnight total of 132 for two, started confidently with overnight batsmen opener Nitin Saini (92) and Manav Sharma (51 not out) adding another valuable 64 runs for the third wicket in the morning session.

Himachal’s Mohinderraj Sharma broke the stand in 60th over, having Saini caught by Mukesh Sharma with 196 on board.

Saini missed the much deserved century by just eight runs but did his bit for the team. He struck 16 fours in his 129 balls stay at the crease.

Same over saw the departure of new batsman Joginder Sharma (0), who was caught by Manvinder Bisla off Mohinderraj.

Hemang Badani (22) then joined hands with Manav and took the score to 233 before Mohinderraj came back to scalp the wicket of in-form former Indian player.

At 249 for five, Haryana captain Rahul Dewan declared the innings and set an improbable target of 360 runs to achieve for the hosts.

Mohinderraj shone with the ball, scalping three crucial Haryana wickets in his 20 overs, conceding 60 runs.

The hosts began the chase on a shaky note, losing opener Thakkar early. Sangram and Indulkar then mixed caution with aggression and took the score to 168 runs. Both waited for the right time to score boundaries.

Haryana’s Sanjay Budhwar broke the stand, having Sangram caught by Dhruv Singh with 168 on board. At this point, both the captains agreed to sign peace.

The Himachal opener struck 13 fours in his 156 balls stay at the crease. Unbeaten Indulkar clobbered 10 fours and faced 124 balls.

Brief scores:

Haryana: 316 and 249/5 decl (Nitin Saini 92, Manav Sharma 51, Mohinderraj Sharma 3/60)

Himachal Pradesh: 206 and 168/2 (51.5 ov) (Sangram Singh 89, Sanjay Budhwar 1/36).