Meerut: Uttar Pradesh earned three points by virtue of 74-run first innings lead against Punjab in their elite Group B Ranji Trophy match that ended in a draw on the at the Bhamashah Stadium here on Thursday.
Pankaj Dharmani scored a fine unbeaten century, while Uday Kaul and Vishwas Bhalla chipped in with valuable runs to help Punjab end the day on 354 for six in 118.1 overs and stop Uttar Pradesh from registering a win.
However, the hosts ended up getting three crucial points, while Punjab could get only one.
Earlier, in reply to Punjab’s first innings total of 288 all out, Uttar Pradesh managed to score 362 to acquire a good lead.
On Wednesday, after dismissing Uttar Pradesh for 362 in their second innings, Punjab wiped out their first innings deficit to take a 53-run lead at the draw of stumps as they reach 127 for 4.
The two overnight batsmen – Uday Kaul (47) and Pankaj Dharmani (34) today gave Punjab just the kind of start they needed on the final day morning.
Dharmani went on to score an unbeaten 135, while Kaul contributed with 74, followed by Vishwas Bhalla’s crucial 76 not out that denied UP a chance of forcing a result in the match even after the home team had already sent Punjab’s top-order back into the pavilion yesterday itself.
For Uttar Pradesh, Piyush Chawla took two wickets on the day to finish with the figures 2 for 78 but the rest of the bowlers could not do much.
Punjab: 288 & 354 for 6 in 118.1 overs (Pankaj Dharmani 135 n.o., Uday Kaul 74, Vishwas Bhalla 76 n.o.; Piyush Chawla 2/78).
Uttar Pradesh: 362 (Mohammad Kaif 58, Praveen Kumar 43; Navdeep Sidhu 4/128, Rajwinder Singh 3/66).