New Delhi: A collective effort by Punjab saw them make an impressive comeback in the Ranji Trophy group league encounter against Delhi on Monday with opener Jiwanjot Singh scoring a century on a lively track where his senior colleague Yuvraj Singh came a cropper for the second time.
At stumps, Punjab were 177 for three with Jiwanjot batting on 105 and Mandeep Singh undefeated on 29 with visitors stretching their overall lead to 101, having erased the first innings deficit of 76 runs. This was after the Punjab bowlers did well to restrict Delhi to 150 after being bowled out for 74 in the first innings.
For Delhi, Virender Sehwag (10) once again failed to get a big score after he was run out failing to beat direct throw from Mandeep.
The star of the day was Jiwanjot, who impressed one and all with his temperament as he batted with a lot of maturity.
He has so far faced 169 balls hitting 15 boundaries in the process. The weather on the day was far better than what it was on the first day but the ball was still doing a fair bit. But the younger opener was a picture of confidence during his seventh first-class century.
This is Jiwanjot`s second ton of the season after his double hundred against Vidarbha at Mohali. The opener was lucky once when Sehwag dropped him at the first slip off Rajat Bhatia`s bowling when he was on 40. Otherwise, he looked solid and brought up his century with a square cut off Parvinder Awana`s bowling.
Jiwanjot shared a couple of vital partnerships -- 65 for the second wicket with Uday Kaul (21) and unbroken 74-run for the fourth wicket with Mandeep. Yuvraj (4) again was adjudged leg before of Bhatia`s bowling and the veteran batsman was again livid with the decision.
Earlier, Unmukt Chand (55) scored a half-century as Punjab bowlers put up a good show to dismiss Delhi for 150 in 45.1 overs. Unmukt looked solid, hitting 12 boundaries in his half-century but played a poor shot to be caught behind off Siddharth Kaul.
Kaul (3/49) and Manpreet Gony (3/42) shared bulk of the spoils, while Sandeep Sharma and Jaskaran Singh got wicket apiece.
Sehwag was unlucky as he started with two boundaries but was out when Unmukt called for a quick single. Unmukt pushed a delivery towards short cover and ran but Mandeep`s direct throw found Sehwag short of his crease as he ran towards striker`s end.
None of the Delhi batsmen showed patience to stay at the crease for long and a lead of 76 was all that they could manage in the end.
Punjab coach Bhupinder Singh Sr was satisfied with the effort of his boys. "To make a comeback after getting all out for 74 is commendable. We have got a lead of 101 so far and would like to increase it further. All depends on what the conditions are. It helped that it was a bit sunny today but if the conditions are like the first day, it will be difficult to bat," Bhupinder Sr said.
Punjab 74 & 177/3 in 52 overs (Jiwanjot Singh 105 batting, Mandeep Singh 29 batting).
Delhi 1st Innings 150 in 45.1 overs (Unmukt Chand 55, Rahul Yadav 15, Manpreet Gony 3/42, Siddharth Kaul 3/49).