Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16, Group A December 18, 2015

Yuvraj comes to Punjab's rescue; Mumbai knocked out

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh top scored with 98 as Punjab topped Services in a 300+ chase to edge Mumbai out from the quarterfinals © AFP

Centuries from Nakul Verma and Soumya Ranjan Swain went in vain as Punjab won by three wickets in a thriller to secure their quarter-final berth. Services posted an imposing 323 for 7 courtesy a 186-run stand for the fifth wicket between Verma and Swain. But the knocks were consigned to being second-best on the day as Punjab rode Yuvraj Singh's 83-ball 98 to chase down the steep target with six balls to spare.

Jiwanjot Singh (41) and Pargat Singh (49) added 82 in just 10.1 overs to set up the chase that was then driven around Yuvraj's knock, with Mandeep Singh (45) and Mayank Siddana (46) chipping in with vital contributions. The winning runs were hit by Harbhajan Singh, who finished 16 not out courtesy two fours and a six.

Tamil Nadu bossed their way to a fifth win in six matches courtesy centuries from Dinesh Karthik and B Aparajith and a six-wicket haul from Rahil Shah. Rajasthan, who were chasing 385, were bundled out for 132 in 26.2 overs.

Rajasthan's decision to field backfired as Karthik (108) and Aparajith (137) added 199 for the second wicket to set the platform for a final onslaught. M Vijay, batting at No. 5, provided the final flourish by smashing six fours and three sixes in his 44-ball 74 as TN smashed 161 off the last 15 overs.

Rajasthan lost the top three inside the third over, and from there on, it was simply a procession as Shah, the left-arm spinner, finished with 6 for 37, his best List A figures. Rajat Bhatia, who made 94 in Rajasthan's thrilling win over Mumbai on Thursday, was the lone ranger with the bat. He was unbeaten on 29 when the last wicket fell. Rajasthan finished sixth in the group with three wins and as many losses.

Mumbai cruised to a seven-wicket win over Hyderabad, but Punjab's win meant they were eliminated from the knockouts despite winning four out of their six matches. Hyderabad's 217 for 8, achieved largely on the back of Hanuma Vihari's 95, was chased down quite easily in 44.2 overs, with Akhil Herwadkar (85) and Shreyas Iyer (84) hitting the high notes. Their 134-run stand flattened Hyderabad, even before Ajinkya Rahane made a sprightly unbeaten 31 to take Mumbai home by seven wickets.