Punjab fight back through Yuvraj, Jiwanjot

Gwalior: Yuvraj Singh today responded his exclusion from the national side with a timely century as Punjab ended the Day three at 354 for eight following-on, with an overall lead of 179 in their Group A Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh here.

Yuvraj led Punjab`s spirited fightback with an aggressive 150-ball 131 after the visitors had left with a 175-run deficit after bundling out for 148 in their first essay in reply to the hosts` first innings total of 323.

Opener Jiwanjot Singh also hit a patient 208-ball 103 and, together in the company of Yuvraj, added 192 runs for the third-wicket partnership at Captain Roop Singh Stadium.

While Yuvraj struck 15 fours and four huge sixes in his 239-minute vigil at the crease, Jiwanjot found the fence 13 times.

The duo first helped the team wriggle out of a precarious situation and then reduced the deficit to stretch the game to the fourth and final day.

Later, Amitoze Singh struck a fine half-century lower down the order to take the team past 350-run mark and swell his team`s overall lead.

However, the prospect of defeat still looms large over Punjab as they lead by 179 runs in their second innings with just two wickets remaining. The hosts will push for victory tomorrow to get full points from the game.

The Madhya Pradesh pace trio of Gaurav Yadav, Anand Rajan and Amarjeet Singh shared all the wickets among themselves to keep the hosts in the hunt.

Gaurav finished with an impressive figure of four for 86 while Anand Rajan picked up two for 61 that included the prized scalp of Yuvraj. Amarjeet too made his presence felt with figures of two for 80.