SKIPPER Karan Kaila starred with bat and ball (50 no,4 for 60) while Prabhjot Singh smashed a superb half-century in Punjab’s facile 45-run win over Uttar Pradesh in the semi-final encounter as they made it to the final of the Vinoo Mankad U-19 cricket tournament being played at Ahmedabad on Monday.
Punjab won the toss and elected to bat first. Their openers- Prabhjot Singh and Karan Sharma- put on 30 runs for the first wicket. However,AG Shukla broke their partnership when he dismissed Karan for 16. Thereafter,the 29-run partnership between Anmolpreet and Prabhjot was broken by KR Yadav who trapped Anmolpreet (15) in front of the wicket with an inswinger.
At this stage,Navneet Singh joined Prabhjot at the crease and the duo stitched 78 runs for the third wicket to resurrect the Punjab innings. However,UP bowlers wrestled back as Mohammad Raza had the opener removed for a well-made 64-ball 82,embellished with four boundaries.
Navneet was the next batsman to return to the pavilion as he went for a big heave,only to be caught by Yadav off a T Trivedi delivery for 46 (68 balls,3 boundaries). Skipper Karan Kaila and NS Chaudhary were then involved in a partnership of 35 runs for the fifth wicket but Raza had the latter removed after scoring 21 runs.
Karan,in the company of wicketkeeper ARK Malhotra,looked to score as many runs as possible and put on 66 runs for the sixth wicket. However,a freak run-out ended their partnership as Malhotra fell short of the crease and was run out for a run-a-ball 37. Karan remained unbeaten on 50 runs. For UP,Raza took two wickets.
UP began their chase on a disastrous note as opener RB Mishra was out on the first delivery of the opening over by Siddharth Sharma. Siddharth once again struck in his next over as he castled Raza in front of the wicket. UP were precariously placed at 2 for 2 at this stage. HM Asnora and RB Rawat fought back and took the total to 36 in 11.2 overs but the Punjab skipper ended their partnership by dismissing Pannu for 21. Soon the score became from 36 for 2 to 41 for 2 as the new batsman Panchera was removed by Karan. Asnora and Rinku Singh put UP innings back on track by stitching 84 runs for the fifth wicket. Navneet Singh then showed acrobatic skills on the field and his brilliant throw found Asnora (55) short of the crease. Top scorer Rinku (61) added 31 runs for the sixth wicket with UD Yadav but Karan struck again and dismissed Rinku for 63. Yadav then provided some late fireworks by smashing 34 off 27 deliveries. The UP innings finally folded for 208 in 46.2 overs. Karan and Siddharth (3 for 36) shared the spoils for Punjab.
Punjab will now take on Bengal in the final to be played in Ahmedabad on November 13.
Punjab: 253 for 7 in 50 overs (Prabhjot Singh 64,Karan Kaila 50 no,Navneet Singh 46,Anmol Malhotra 37,N.S. Chaudhary 21,Mohd. Raza 2 for 47,T.B.Trivedi 1 for 31); UP: 208 all out in 46.2 overs (Rinku Singh 63,H M Asnora 55,U.D.Yadav 34,R.B. Rawat 21,Karan Kaila 4 for 60,Siddharth Sharma 3 for 36).