Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh upstaged Punjab by four wickets in a crucial North Zone one-day cricket league match and joined Delhi as the second qualifier for the knockout phase at the Jamia Millia ground here on Thursday.

In an exciting finish, Himachal chased down the target of 256 with a delivery to spare. The victory, worth four points, took Himachal to 16 points, two more than Punjab.

Punjab scored a competitive 255 in 50 overs with Pankaj Dharmani top-scoring with 94. Paras Dogra hit 64 and Ajay Manu contributed 40 as Himachal closed in on the target. Kuldeep Diwan’s unbeaten 36-ball 34, with five boundaries, turned the tide in Himachal’s favour.

Easy for Delhi

Earlier, at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground, Delhi crushed Services by 10 wickets after openers Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan slammed centuries. The expected victory came with a bonus point in just 27.1 overs. Delhi ended with 19 points.

At the Harbaksh Singh Stadium, Haryana easily defeated Jammu & Kashmir by 88 runs in an inconsequential match. Haryana, too, gained a bonus point to finish with 12 points.

The scores:

At Ferozeshah Kotla ground: Services 204 for six in 50 overs (Yashpal Singh 71, Soumik Chatterjee 58, N. S. Negi three for 41) lost to Delhi 208 for no loss in 27.1 overs (Aakash Chopra 101 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 100 not out).

At Jamia Millia College ground: Punjab 255 in 50 overs (Pankaj Dharmani 94, Uday Kaul 59, Ankur Kakkar 30, Jitendra Mehra three for 42) lost to Himachal Pradesh 256 for six in 49.5 overs (Paras Dogra 64, Ajay Manu 40, Kuldeep Diwan 34 not out).

At Harbaksh Singh Stadium: Haryana 268 for nine in 50 overs (Sunny Singh 88, Sachin Rana 44, Dhruv Singh 44, Samir Khajuria four for 53) beat Jammu & Kashmir 180 in 48.2 overs (Amardeep Sonkar four for 31).

Final points-position: 1. Delhi (19 points), 2. Himachal Pradesh (16), 3. Punjab (14), 4. Haryana (12), 5. Services (3), Jammu & Kashmir (-4).

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