Haryana hold slight edge after see-saw day
Haryana 163 and 117 for 5 (Sandeep Sharma 3-26) lead Punjab 184 (Gurkeerat 51, Budhwar 4-46, Harshal 4-60) by 96 runs
On a green track at Lahli, the match between hosts Haryana and Punjab seems set for a close finish. At the end of the second day, Haryana have a 96-run lead but are also five wickets down and the Punjab pacers, particularly, Sandeep Sharma and VRV Singh will be looking to knock the side over quickly on the third morning.
No one team could claim the honours on the second day. Punjab began at 50 for 3 but lost overnight batsmen Sandeep and Uday Kaul off consecutive deliveries to pacer Sanjay Budhwar. Taruwar Kohli followed suit with only 11 runs added to the scoreboard.
A doughty 86-run stand between Mayank Sidhana and Gurkeerat Singh rescued the innings and, more importantly, helped them take a small lead over Haryana. Gurkeerat raised his maiden first-class fifty, scoring 51 off 48 balls with eight fours, while Sidhana collected a 91-ball 43 with seven fours. Once Gurkeerat fell, however, the Haryana pacers wrapped up the last four wickets for 10 runs and Punjab were dismissed for 184, a lead of 21 runs. Seamer Harshal Patel picked up three of the last four wickets to finish with 4 for 60 and Budhwar also finished with a four-wicket haul.
Haryana's batsmen once again found themselves struggling against Sandeep as the pacer quickly dismissed Abhimanyu Khod and Rahul Dalal. Avi Barot was on his way to a second fifty in the match and was involved in a promising stand with Nitin Saini before Sandeep struck again, dismissing him for 31. VRV Singh added another blow to Haryana, dismissing Saini for 25. By close of play, Sachin Rana and Amit Mishra had added 31 for the sixth wicket. The pair carry the hopes of a Haryana line-up that will be looking to set a challenging target as they seek their second win.