Rajat Paliwal played a match-winning innings of an unbeaten 69 off 93 deliveries which included four boundaries to take Services to the top of North Zone’s group table against Haryana at the Palam Sports Complex cricket ground. The win maintained Services’ unbeaten run as they had defeated Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir in their earlier matches.
At the start, Haryana had posted a total of 171 in 50 over. The side never really got going with the top order batsman continuously troubled by the new ball. By the time they lost their fifth wicket, Haryana had only managed to put up 69 runs in 26.5 overs.
Sachin Rana and skipper Joginder Singh attempted to inject some momentum into procedings with a partnership of 51 in 11.3 overs. However both Rana and Sharma fell in quick succession to undo any advantage. Their dismissal left the visitors without any batsman who could accelerate or anchor the innings in the last 10 overs. Rana was bowled by left arm spinner Avishek Rana for 32 in the 39th overs as he missed a straight-one while Sharma made 31 was caught behind as he tried to guide the ball to third-man. Lower-order batsman Sonu Rathee’s 33 off 35 deliveries was not enough as the side bundled out without ever getting their run rate above four runs an over.
For Services, Avishek Sinha and Diwesh Pathania took 3 wickets each while, opening medium-pace bowler Suraj Yadav completed his allotted 12 overs in a single spell giving away just 21 while also picking up a wicket.
Chasing a modest target, the hosts faltered as they lost three wickets—all to the in-form Joginder Sharma — for just 42 runs in 13 overs. The fourth-wicket partnership between Rajat Paliwal and skipper Yashpal Singh of 62 runs steadied the innings until, the latter was trapped leg before by Mohit Sharma for 24 . Haryana then quickly got rid of Soumyaranjan Swain to leave Services at a precarious 118/5. But there would be no further breakthrough as the unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 56 runs between Paliwal and Anshul Gupta (29) ensured that the hosts completed a comfortable win with more than the four overs to spare.
BRIEF SCORES: Haryana 171 in 50 overs ( S Rathee 33, S Rana 32; A Sinha 3/31, D Pathania 3/48) lost to Services ( R Paliwal 69 n.o,J Sharma 3/33)
(Kartik Kumar is a student of EXIMS)