Bhajji frustrates J&K bowlers

Bhajji frustrates J&K bowlers

Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh made a superb return to competitive cricket as he smashed 92 off only 80 balls to rescue his team from a precarious position against an impressive Jammu and Kashmir bowling attack on the first day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Wednesday.

Punjab scored a respectable 304 in their first innings as Harbhajan and No 9 batsman Sandeep Sharma (51) added an invaluable 105 runs for the eighth wicket after J&K seam trio of Samiullah Beigh (2/56), Ram Dayal (3/59) and Umar Nazir (4/66) reduced them to 146 for seven.

At stumps, J&K were 11 for one after opener Obaid Haroon (4) edged one from Sandeep to wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera.

Using the helpful conditions, J&K bowlers -- especially seamer Dayal -- caused a lot of discomfort for Punjab’s top-order batsmen including Yuvraj Singh (10) but the more experienced Punjab team finally wriggled out of trouble.

Coming back after a shoulder niggle that kept him out for more than six weeks, Harbhajan clobbered eight fours and six sixes in his 80-ball knock before he was out trying to slog sweep opposite number Parveez Rasool over short fine leg. Harbhajan scored 68 off his 92 runs in boundaries and with only 14 scoring strokes.

SCOREBOARD

PUNJAB (I Innings): Manan Vohra c Haroon b Nazir 13, Jiwanjot Singh c Haroon b Dayal 22, Ravi Inder Singh c Ian Dev Singh b Beigh 36, Yuvraj Singh c Bandeep Singh b Dayal 10, Mandeep Singh c Rishi b Dayal 6, Gurkeerat Singh b Nazir 41, Gitansh Khera c Madhasir b Beigh 6, Harbhajan Singh c Rishi b Rasool 92, Sandeep Sharma b Nazir 51, Manpreet Gony lbw Nazir 5, VRV Singh (not out) 9. Extras (LB-4, W-1, NB-8) 13. Total (all out, 81.2 overs) 304. 

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-36, 3-55, 4-71, 5-121, 6-141, 7-146, 8-251, 9-273.Bowling: Samiullah Beigh 15-3-56-2, Umar Nazir 18.2-2-66-4, Ram Dayal 21-4-59-3, Mohammed Mudhasir 14-4-55-0, Parvez Rasool 13-2-64-1. JAMMU & KASHMIR (I Innings): Adil Rishi (batting) 3, Obaid Haroon c Khera b Sandeep 4, Bandeep Singh (batting) 0. Extras (B-1, NB-3) 4. Total (for 1 wkt, 4 overs) 11. Fall of wicket: 1-5.Bowling: Sandeep Sharma 2-0-5-1, Manpreet Gony 2-0-5-0.    

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