Punjab survive top-order collapse in low-scorer
Punjab scraped to a two-wicket win with four balls to spare in a chase of 104 against Delhi in Dharamsala. Punjab's chase got off to a poor start after Ishant Sharma and Navdeep Saini reduced them to 3 for 3 by the second over, with Saini taking wickets off successive balls. Anmolpreet Singh and Sharad Lumba, the latter top-scoring with 36, kept Punjab on track, but another slump in the middle-overs threatened their chances of victory. Two wickets in the penultimate over bowled by Saini, including a run-out, left Punjab eight-down seeking five runs off the last over. The pair of Nikhil Chaudhary and Siddarth Kaul sealed the win. Like Punjab, Delhi, too, had suffered a top-order collapse: their top three were dismissed for 34 within the first seven overs. Except for Milind Kumar, who top-scored with 26, the other batsmen couldn't put up too many runs against a Punjab attack where all bowlers contributed wickets. The new-ball pair of Manpreet Gony (3 for 26) and Sandeep Sharma took five wickets between them, while Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh contributed one wicket.
Sumeet Verma hit an unbeaten 54 to lead Himachal Pradesh to a last-ball win against Haryana in Dharamsala. Chasing 134, HP hit 13 runs off the final over to complete the five-wicket victory. Verma, the match's top-scorer, came into bat in the seventh over after HP lost both openers and added 60 runs with Paras Dogra (32) for the third wicket. After Dogra was dismissed, he carried on with the rest of the middle order to complete a tight win for HP.
Earlier, Haryana were sent in to bat. After both their openers fell cheaply, Rajat Paliwal (27) and Chaitanya Bishnoi (24) made promising starts but failed to carry on. HP's bowlers picked up regular wickets and did not let any Haryana partnership exceed 33 runs. Mayank Dagar took three middle-order wickets while Akshay Chauhan picked up three wickets in his return spell to bowl Haryana out off for 133 off the innings' last delivery.
Nishan Singh's four-wicket haul helped Services beat Jammu & Kashmir by four runs in Nadaun. When Ram Dayal was dismissed, J&K needed 28 off 26 balls with four wickets in hand. But the run out of top scorer Shubham Khajuria (46) by Amit Pachhara applied the brakes further. They lost two wickets off successive deliveries in the final over to be bowled out for 140. Services were driven by Pachhara's 42 (his second 40 plus score in as many matches) and Hardik Sethi's 34, before they lost 6 for 33. Umar Nazir was the pick of J&K's bowlers, taking 3 for 26.