It was time for pyrotechnics. It was the turn of Punjab to put the bowling to the sword. Showing great character, Punjab made a resounding response by reaching 452 for two against Baroda on the third day of the Ranji Trophy group-A league cricket match, at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday.
It was time for Deepavali celebrations, as opener Manan Vohra hit a maiden unbeaten double hundred, and skipper Yuvraj Singh was all set for one himself, at 179, as the two dwarfed Baroda’s first innings total of 529.
There may still be some work left on the fourth day for Punjab to take the first innings lead, but after being chastened by losing a match from a good position against Bengal in Bilaspur, the team has really bounced back strongly in playing to potential. All credit to the 23-year-old Manan Vohra who hit his third first class century to overhaul his previous best of 187. His 355-ball knock has been studded with 17 fours and two sixes so far.
After scoring 27 runs in four innings in the first two matches against Madhya Pradesh and Railways, Manan played well to score 23 and 75 in the last match against Bengal, but it was unfinished work that saw Punjab sink in the climax. Yuvraj Singh has been amongst the runs, and led from the front with his 26th first class century.
True to his resolve, Yuvraj restricted himself to 23 fours in his 253-ball knock and has not hit a six so far. It was some emphasis to play to the demands of the situation and the team’s cause from the super star, who had hit six sixes in one over in his brilliant career. First class cricket is all about patience and perseverance especially in conditions that generally make the bowlers sweat.
Baroda tried seven bowlers, but after Munaf Patel had Uday Kaul caught by Yusuf Pathan early in the day, Manan and Yuvraj have already put on 314 for the third wicket, grinding the bowlers to dust. There may be more fireworks on the morrow, unless Baroda is able to introduce an improbable twist to the script. >
Other results (Group A):
Results (Group B):
Results (Group C):
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