Vijay Hazare Trophy: Yuvraj Singh's purple patch ends; MS Dhoni's 70-run knock goes in vain
Yuvraj was out for a paltry five runs as Dhoni scored 70* in his side's loss.
New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh's superb phase with the bat in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy ended on Wednesday. The 2011 ICC World cup winning hero got out for paltry five runs in a crucial quarter-final tie against Himachal Pradesh.
The Punjab batsman fell to youngster Pankaj Jaiswal who starred in the game taking three wickets. Himachal's inroads kept Punjab to a modest 263/8 in 50 overs before Robin Bist's ton guided them to a five-wicket victory.
Yuvraj, who has been in tremendous form this season, helped Punjab book the quarters after knocks of 93, 36, 36, 78* and 98 in his last five innings in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. His stellar performances helped him get back into the Indian T20 squad for the upcoming tour of Australia in January 2016.
Yuvi missed out on an ODI return but a good outing in the T20s could see him return to the 50-over format too.
Meanwhile, India limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fought a lone battle for Jharkand on Wednesday against Delhi. Dhoni who took part in the Vijay Hazare Trophy after a gap of 10 years, hit 70* against Delhi who put 225 runs on the board. In reply, Jharkand were shot out for 126 as Dhoni batted with the lower order and remained unbeaten.
Dhoni has had scores of 9, 44, 1 and 37 in his last six outings in the ongoing tourney. Wednesday's knock will give him some much-needed confidence with the tour of Australia starting soon.
Dhoni's participation for Jharkand was mainly to keep his fitness level high and he has achieved that.
Fellow India internationals Shikhar Dhawan failed once again after managing just 25 runs for Delhi. Harbhajan Singh meanwhile, contributed with the bat in the lower half for Punjab and also got a wicket.
India enter a crucial phase in 2016 with series against Sri Lanka and Asia Cup T20 just after the Aussie showdown. The much-awaited 2016 T20 World Cup will begin in March 2016 and Dhoni will want to get this spell go right.