Less than 48 hours after being released by Mumbai Indians ahead of the month’s Indian Premier League auction, Anmolpreet Singh raced to a 62-ball hundred, his quickest in all formalised cricket matches, during Punjab’s comfortable eight-wicket win against Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Riding on Anmolpreet’s unbeaten 101 (63b, 9x4, 5x6) and his entertaining 132-run partnership for the second wicket with opener Abhishek Sharma (89, 69b, 12x4, 3x6), Punjab made meat of a moderate target of 228 at the Wankhede Stadium.
The duo’s effort ensured that Baltej Singh and Co excellent performance with the ball did not go waste as Punjab’s third consecutive win - with more than 21 overs remaining - helped it displace J&K atop the Group D points table.
Despite Abhishek’s whirlwind knock, the day belonged to Anmolpreet, who failed to fire in his three IPL outings over the last two editions. The stylish right-hander, though, downplayed the IPL retention for his ultra-aggressive approach.
“The wicket was nice, the ball was coming on to the bat and I was into the groove, so I just enjoyed the hit-out,” Anmolpreet said after the game. “One cannot let IPL retention or release play on your mind during a major domestic tournament. If you keep thinking about these things, it will affect your performance.”
On Tuesday, hours before the IPL retention list was officially announced, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel - a scout with Mumbai Indians - was seen having a long chat with Anmolpreet at the Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy.
“He just told me to keep doing the right things, and results will follow. I have been trying to do the same. I’ll try and keep doing the same things consistently,” Anmolpreet said.
Punjab will be hoping that Anmolpreet continues to fire in the latter half of the league stage as well.