Vijay Hazare Trophy 2011-12, preliminary quarter-finals March 5, 2012

Harbhajan guides Punjab home in thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh finally lit up a quiet domestic season with a heroic 79 to guide Punjab to a two-wicket win in a thriller against Maharashtra at Palam A Ground. Harbhajan also took 3 for 35, but it was his batting which stood out, considering that Punjab were tottering at 27 for 5 chasing a modest 187. The Maharashtra seamers, Anupam Sanklecha and Mohsin Sayyed, shared five wickets between them to rattle the top order. Bipul Sharma and Taruwar Kohli staged a recovery, adding 42 for the sixth wicket. The match-turning partnership was that of 86 between Kohli and Harbhajan. Kohli fell four short of his fifty when he was run out, but Harbhajan ensured he stayed on and rallied the tail. Manpreet Gony made a dogged unbeaten 9 off 28 balls to give his captain support. Harbhajan hit seven fours and a six in his knock.

Earlier, a combined bowling effort kept Maharashtra to 186. None of the Maharashtra batsmen were able to pass fifty, with Nikhil Paradkar and Kedar Jadhav hitting forties. Punjab will now play Hyderabad in the quarter-finals.

Delhi qualified for the quarter-finals in style by sending Assam crashing to 94, before knocking off the runs in just 20.2 overs at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Delhi legspinner Varun Sood took 4 for 36 - three of them bowled - to bring Assam's innings to a close in the 33rd over. Pradeep Sangwan, the left-arm seamer, built up the pressure by taking two top-order wickets, before Sood cleaned up the middle order. Sood and Pawan Negi, the left-arm spinner, shared six wickets between them as Assam lost their last six for 41 runs. Delhi lost just two wickets in their chase as the opener Shikhar Dhawan hit an unbeaten 42 to bring an early end to the match. Delhi will play Railways in the quarters.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Desmond on March 7, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    To those who don't see Harbhajan the bowler - Cmon, he got 3 for 35. Is it bad?

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    since his ouster from indian team ,this is the first time he has done well before that both in ranji and vijay hazare his record has been dismal so dont get carried away ,let him be consistent then he is one of those persons you will die to have in indian team but for now ashwin is fine

  • Arshdeep on March 6, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    get ready to see the turbanator make a comeback . go bhajji go.

  • Kavin on March 6, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    We want him back, because is a slow and awful player who bring no energy in the team on field. He's an average cricketer and current Indian team need Bhajji's aggression and passion he shows on field.

  • Shakir on March 5, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    Disappointed :(. I was hoping for a good show with ball. As many have voiced, we need Bhajji to fire with ball.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    bhajji out form is still better then ashwin. ashwin got no intensity. bhajji does n he knows how to get under the skin of opposition.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    Hope u storm in indian side soon

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    bhajji... Ashwin is equally performing well with the bat at the international level... Wat is required from you is ur ability to bowl the doosra without fear and get the classic off spinners that you bowled in 2001 series against the aussies!!

  • Parthiban on March 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    He has to do a lot more to get his place back,He is still not bowling well.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Finally Harbhajan trying hard....All the best to HARBHAJAN

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