Ranji Trophy: Match poised for an exciting finish as Haryana lead by 96 runs
Lahli: Punjab got a slender first-innings lead of 21 runs and then reduced Haryana to 117 for five in their second innings in an exciting fifth round Ranji Trophy encounter being played at the Bansi Lal Stadium here today.
Haryana now have an overall lead of 96 runs with five wickets in hand as two days are still left and an outright result looks inevitable.
Starting the day 50 for three, Punjab scored 184 in their first innings largely due to 86-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Gurkeerat Singh (51, 48 balls, 8x4) and Mayank Sidhana (43, 91 balls, 7x4).
The duo came together when Punjab were tottering at 88 for six with Harshal Patel (4/60) and left-arm seamer Sanjay Badhwar (4/46) running through the top-order.
While Gurkeerat went after the bowlers, Sidhana held one end up as they crossed Haryana`s first innings score of 163.
But they lost the last four wickets for only 10 runs and lead was only of 21 runs.
In the second innings, Punjab medium pacer Sandeep Sharma (3/26) again rocked the Haryana top-order as they were reduced to 86 for five before Sachin Rana (21 batting) and Amit Mishra (13 batting) added 31 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket stand.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh, who has sustained a shoulder injury in Punjab`s previous match against Gujarat will be out of action for 14 days.
Brief Scores: Haryana 163 & 117/5 (Avi Barot 31, Sachin rana 25 batting, Sandeep Sharma 3/26).
Punjab 184 (Gurkeerat Singh 51, Mayank Sidhana 43, Harshal patel 4/46, Sanjay Badhwar 4/46). Haryana lead by 96 runs.