Punjab skipper Gagandeep Singh, with a haul of six for 56, led from the front to seal a facile innings and 111 run win over Himachal Pradesh on the third and final day of their Cooch Behar Trophy North Zone League match at the Dhruve Pandove Stadium in Patiala on Monday.
Resuming at the overnight score of 80 for 4, Himachal Pradesh lost Paras Dogra off the first ball of the day, caught by Rajan off Gagandeep. Then Sashi Kumar joined Prashanth to take the score to 98 when Sashi fell for a catch to Vikramjit off Sawal. Six balls later Prashanth gave a catch to Rajan off Gagandeep. Two overs later Prince Angariya (4) fell leg before to Gagandeep, who in his next over had MS Thakur caught by Rajan.
With nine wickets down and only 105 on the board, it was only a matter of time before Punjab sealed the match in their favour. But the last wicket pair of Ankur Sharma (15) and Abhishek Gujral (18) frustrated the bowlers for 10.2 overs while adding 42 runs. The last wicket to fall was that of Abhishek when Sawal had him caught by SP Singh with the total at 147.
Earlier on the second day on Sunday, Punjab, helped by a fine 135 by SP Singh, took firm control of the proceedings to declare at 468 for 8 which gave them a lead of 258 runs on the first innings in spite of a seven wicket haul by Himachal Pradesh's Angaria. Resuming at 134 for 1, Punjab's overnight batsmen Binwant Singh (65) and SP Singh added 90 runs for the second wicket in 27.5 overs. Binwant was the first to be dismissed when he was taken by Angrish off Angariya. VS Sodhi then joined SP Singh to forge a 115-run partnership in 23.5 overs. The new batsman Rajan Singh (8) departed in the next over of Angariya when he offered a return catch to the bowler.
SP Singh who was setting a good pace in scoring his runs was the next to be dismissed when he was stumped by Prashant Kumar off Angariya. During his 236 minute stay at the crease, SP Singh faced 175 balls and found the boundary ropes 13 times. His fall brought in the Punjab stumper C Madan to the crease. Madan and K Walia (11) took the score to 352 when Walia was stumped off Angariya. The seventh wicket that fell was that of the Punjab skipper Gagandeep Singh (10) at the score of 381 when he ran himself out. Madan then took the score past the 400 run mark before he fell for a catch to Ankur Sharma off Angariya. Madan's bright 82 came up off only 69 balls and he hit six fours and five sixes.
S Sawal (30) and A Uniyal (18) took the score to 468 when the Punjab captain declared. The most successful bowler for Himachal was Angariya who captured seven of the eight wickets that fell but in the bargain gave away 153 runs from his 33 overs.
Himachal made a disastrous start in their second innings losing Anil Sharma leg before to Gagandeep Singh in the third over. Then Hemant Dogra (17) joined K Sharma (29) to take the score on to 29 before Dogra was dismissed, caught by Madan off Sawal. Himachal lost their third wicket, that of K Sharma in the 14th over. He was caught by Binwant Singh off Gagandeep. Himachal further lost their skipper Angrish who ran himself out in the 20th over. P Dogra (18) and Prasanth Kumar (0) took Himachal to 80 when stumps were drawn.