Ranji Trophy: Openers rescue Himachal after following on

Resuming at 101 for three, Himachal Pradesh was all out for 233, conceding a lead of 169 runs. By close, Himachal was 142 for one following a brilliant opening partnership of 140 runs between Ravi Thakur (45) and Prashant Chopra (89 batting).

Ranji Trophy Sanjay Pehal

Sanjay Pahal took a five-wicket haul to help Haryana enforce follow-on   -  Kamal Sharma

Haryana preferred to enforce the follow-on but Himachal Pradesh came up with a strong reply to end the third day of the Ranji Trophy match with a healthy chance of a draw at the Sardar Patel Stadium here on Thursday.

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Resuming at 101 for three, Himachal Pradesh was all out for 233, conceding a lead of 169 runs. By close, Himachal was 142 for one following a brilliant opening partnership of 140 runs between Ravi Thakur (45) and Prashant Chopra (89 batting).

Medium-pacer Sanjay Pahal, who had accounted for Paras Dogra on Wednesday, picked up four wickets today to place Haryana in a strong position even as Mohit Sharma lent support by scalping two Himachal batsmen.

Sumeet Verma, who made 66 off 167 balls with six fours and one six, was the key performer in the Himachal Pradesh middle order apart from Amit Kumar (37 off 89 balls) but his effort could not stop his team from following on.

Pahal’s five-wicket haul stood out as Himachal commenced its second innings. But there was a remarkable change in the Himachal approach as openers Thakur and Chopra opted to play their shots and it helped the team emerge from the early pressures.

Thakur was castled by Pahal towards the close after a 71-ball knock of 45 which contained nine fours. Chopra was at the crease with an excellent 101-ball essay worth 89 runs with 11 fours and two sixes.