Punjab rallied brilliantly to register a 118-run victory over Services in the final session of their North Zone Ranji match at the Gandhi Grounds, Amritsar.
Speedster Vineet Sharma bowled a magical final spell to take five wickets in six overs, conceding only 10 runs, and finishing with six for 61 in 24 overs. This was his career-best haul; he now has 12 wickets in the first two Ranji matches of the season.
Chasing a target of 342, Services started the final day in commanding fashion, scoring 101 runs in the first session without losing any wickets. Batsmen PMS Reddy and Jasvir Singh, who went on to score a splendid century, fabricated a 121-run partnership. Jasvir's innings of 114, off 217 balls, was studded with 15 boundaries and three huge sixes
At tea, Services were sitting pretty at 182 for three, but the batsmen panicked on facing some fine swing bowling by Vineet Sharma, and the team plummeted to 223 all out in 93 overs. Another bowler who contributed to Services' downfall was local lad Sandeep Sawal, taking two wickets for 46 runs.
The Services wonder-boy, 19-year old Yashpal Singh, who scored a double century (202) in the first innings, was run out in a mix-up, a lapse that proved costly for the side. The remaining six batsmen could only add 41 more runs before being bundled out for 223 in the eighth mandatory over.
Punjab, with this outright victory, now has 16 points. They will now take on Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu from Nov. 18-21. Services will play Haryana at Faridabad during the same time.