December 5, 2000

Mongia slams 158 as Punjab thrash J&K

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Punjab scored a comprehensive 162 run victory over unfancied Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji One-Day clash at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi today. On winning the toss, Punjab skipper Vikram Rathour elected to bat first. This turned out to be the perfect decision. In the company of promoted mediumpacer Sandeep Sharma (31), Rathour made a useful 84 (112 balls, 11 fours) at the top of the order.

However, it was not the opening stand of 52 that made life difficult for J&K. Coming in number three, Dinesh Mongia clattered the bowling to all parts of the ground. The southpaw played one of his finest innings thus far, making a mammoth 158 off just 116 balls. In the course of his assault, he sent the ball skidding across the turf to the boundary sixteen times and even cleared the ropes on four occasions. Adding 145 for the second wicket, the Rathour-Mongia combine put the match past J&K. Even after Rathour was bowled by Vijay Sharma, Mongia was unstoppable.

The rest of the Punjab team batted around Mongia and reached a matchwinning 320 in fifty overs. Faced with the Herculean task of chasing 320, J&K collapsed for a meagre 158. Lasting just 41 overs, J&K were never in the hunt. Stumper R Bali at the top of the order made 57 opening the batting, but he found no support. Recent India Test cap Sharandeep Singh picked up 3/27 as Punjab crushed J&K.