New Delhi, March 1: Yuvraj Singh propelled Punjab to a six-wicket win over defending champions Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (North Zone) at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday.
Punjab recovered from a bad start to overcome Delhi’s 228 in 47 overs, largely due to the 143-run stand Yuvraj (96 off 95 balls) and Gurkeerat Singh Mann (53 off 64) shared for the fifth-wicket.
Punjab had lost their opening match against Haryana Thursday and Delhi had won against Jammu and Kashmir.
Punjab began the chase on a shaky note, losing openers Jiwanjot Singh Chouhan for a duck and Manan Vohra (15) by the sixth over. Delhi pacer Sumit Narwal trapped Jiwanjot leg before the wicket in the first over of the innings before sending Vohra back in similar fashion.
Punjab’s troubles worsened when medium-fast bowler Parvinder Awana castled the stumps of the talented Mandeep Singh, making it 57/3 in 15 overs. Gitansh Khera (33 off 74) at the other end offered resistance and was lucky to be dropped twice.
Mandeep’s fall brought Yuvraj into the middle and the sparse Kotla crowd suddenly got interested in the game.
The conditions were becoming better for batting with the sun coming out in the second half.
The southpaw was watchful early on and changed gears as soon as the slower bowlers started operating. He gave the innings the much needed momentum by flicking medium pacer Rajat Bhatia for a six and following it with a delightful square cut for a boundary.
Yuvraj was now in the zone, coming up with his trademark drive through the covers. He too got a life when Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir slipped his catch at covers. In the end, he guided the team home in style, finishing the game with a six off left-arm spinner Varun Sood.
Earlier, Delhi were sent in to bat amid cloudy weather. Punjab pacers Siddharth Kaul (4/37) and Sandeep Sharma had them reeling at 53/5 before Mithun Manhas (98) resurrected the innings.
Virender Sehwag (10) failed yet again while Gambhir (8) was run out.