Haryana tighten noose around Himachal

Dharamsala: Haryana tightened the noose around Himachal Pradesh as they first restricted the hosts to 206 in their first innings and then notched up 132 for two in their second innings to take an overall lead of 242 runs on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match at HPCA stadium here on Wednesday.

Haryana, who had made 316 in their first innings, started confidently in their second outing, with openers Nitin Saini (61 not out) and Rahul Dewan (19) adding 45 runs for the first wicket.

Himachal`s Vishal Bhatia broke the stand, having Dewan caught by Sangram Singh. Sunny Singh (29) along with Saini mixed caution with aggression to take the visitors total past 100-mark.

Their 58-run stand was broken by Ashok Thakur, who trapped Sunny on the backfoot plumb in front of the stumps with the scoreline reading 103.

Sunny hit four fours in his 53 balls stay at the crease.

Next batsman Manav Sharma (10 not out) then joined hands with opener Saini and ensured that the hosts did not get another reason to smile.

Saini has so far struck 10 fours in his unbeaten 123 balls stay at the crease.

Earlier, resuming at their overnight total of 85 for two, Himachal was dealt a severe blow when their in-form opener Bhavin Thakkar (69) was dismissed by Sanjay Budhwar at 101 on board.

Thakkar managed to add only eight runs to his overnight score. He struck 13 fours in his 152 balls stay at the crease.

Wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla (8) and overnight batsman and captain Paras Dogra (21) too did not last long as the hosts were left reeling at 129 for five.

Mukesh Sharma (18) also perished in quick succession, caught by Sandeep Singh off Sunny Singh.

Kuldeep Diwan (30) and Vishal Bhatia (22) then stitched together a 58-run seventh wicket partnership to take the total near 200-run mark.

Haryana`s in-form pacers Budhwar and Joginder came back strongly in their second spell, dismissing both Dewan and Bhatia in no much time.

Ashok Thakur (not out 7) and Jitender Mehta (1) took the total past 200-mark before Himachal`s first innings folded up at 206.

For Haryana, Budhwar scalped five wickets for 75 runs in his 24 overs, while Joginder accounted for three in his 22.4 overs, conceding only 36 runs.

Brief scores:

Haryana: 316 and 132/2 (Nitin Saini 61, Vishal Bhatia 1/23)

Himachal Pradesh: 1st innings: 206 (Bhavin Thakkar 69, Kuldeep Diwan 30, Sanjay Budhwar 5/25, Joginder Sharma 3/36).