Meerut: Left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh and Karan Goel struck contrasting half centuries as Punjab posted 279 for six on the first day of their elite group B Ranji Trophy encounter against UP at the Bhamashah Stadium here on Monday.
Yuvraj hit eight fours and a six during his 71-ball 52, while Goel’s unbeaten innings of 56 was laced with eight boundaries.
Batting first after winning the toss, Punjab were off to a brisk start, with openers Sarul Kanwar and Ravi Inder Singh putting on 55 runs for the first wicket, before Praveen Kumar broke the stand by having Inder Singh for 13 in the 10th over.
Kumar struck again, in his next over, when he had Kanwar caught by Piyush Chawla for 42. Yuvraj and Uday Kaul rescued Punjab after Praveen’s double blow, stitching together another half-century stand, before Amir Khan ran Kaul out for 27.
Skipper Pankaj Dharmani (2) made a quick exit, falling to the guile of Chawla, who later dismissed Vishwas Bhalla after the batsman had made 32 runs.
Punjab were dealt a body blow, when Praveen bowled Yuvraj (52) just after the left-hander had completed his half-century, to leave the visitors in a spot of bother.
Goel then steadied the Punjab innings, first with Bhalla, and then with Harmeet Singh, who contributed a valuable 29. Goel shared a partnership of 72 runs with Bhalla, before adding another 64 runs with Harmeet to take his team to safety.
Punjab: 279 for six in 90 overs (Goel 56 n.o., Yuvraj 52; Praveen 3/68) vs UP.