March 11, 2001

Punjab have Rajasthan on the ropes

Staff Reporter

Breezy knocks by Pankaj Dharmani (101) and Dinesh Mongia (75) enabled Punjab to post a 318-run lead in the first innings against Rajasthan on the second day of their Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal match at the PCA Stadium in Mohali today.

Dharmani and Mongia, who resumed this morning, carried on from where they left and added 159 runs for the fourth wicket. Dharmani and Mongia were confident as they played every stroke in the book. Dharmani completed his century off 161 balls with the help of 14 boundaries and one six during a stay of 212 minutes. This was his third century of the season. He was deceived by a sharp incoming delivery by Sanjeev Sharma as the nicked the ball to keeper Jalani with the total at 272.

Reetinder Sodhi replaced Dharmani and opened his account with a boundary off Sanjeev Sharma to backward point. Mongia executed elegant shots before he was unlucky to be given out caught behind off left arm spinner Mohd. Aslam.

Sodhi's 55 included six fours and a six. He was dismissed by left arm seamer Krishna Kumar as he was bowled by an in swinging ball. Sandeep Sawal, who came to bat at no. 8 showed his ability with the bat as he scored 36 runs in 68 balls which included five hits to the fence.

Punjab tailenders Vineet Kumar (25 n.o.) and Babloo Kumar (14), both debutants added 38 runs for the last wicket and took the total to 429 runs. Sanjeev Sharma was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers with five wickets for 84 runs from 30 overs. Mohd. Aslam took three wickets for 52 runs. Rajasthan in the second innings were four without loss in five overs.