Yashpal Singh is a much under-rated and unsung cricketer. He often ends up fighting alone for Services. It was no different on Monday when he crafted 108 against Himachal Pradesh but ended up a loser.
His century was a fitting response to an equally well-scripted by Paras Dogra as Himachal won the North Zone one-day league match by 18 runs at Palam ‘B' ground here.
At the adjacent Palam ‘A' field, Punjab tamed Haryana by four wickets while Delhi defeated Jammu and Kashmir by 125 runs at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The Services-HP contest was a story of two century knocks, each a reflection on the two batsmen, bred on local turfs in Delhi. Dogra sought opportunities in the hilly state while Yashpal joined Navy. They excelled exceptionally for their teams.
The pitch was not conducive to Dogra and Yashpal's style. They love the ball to come on nicely. Here, it stopped and crawled too. But they had summed up the conditions deftly to produce brilliant centuries. One could not have differentiated between the two knocks.
Dogra was the guiding force for Himachal which also gained from Prashant Chopra (60 off 78 balls with seven fours) and S. Sriram (45 off 48 balls with three fours). Batting at number four, Dogra paced his innings well and hit six fours and two sixes in his 123-ball essay.
The stage was now left for Yashpal. The Services skipper was brilliant. The top order caved in but he found a partner in Sanjeev Mishra, who made 51 off 49 balls with five fours. Their 106-run stand of 106 runs created jitters in the HP camp but the two failed to sustain the chase. Yashpal remained unbeaten on 108 off 115 balls with five fours. Credit to Services for its spirited show!
Amitoze Singh was the star in Punjab's four-wicket win over Haryana. Punjab remained in control even as Haryana attempted a fightback. Opener Nitin Saini's 77 (101 balls, four fours0 laid the base for Haryana but Sachin Rana (59 not out off 52 balls, three fours and two sixes) alone came to terms with the demands of scoring.
Punjab's response was given the direction by Karan Goel (41 with five fours), Gurkeerat Mann (43 with five fours), Mandeep Singh (39 with two fours and one six) but it was left to Amitoze to finish the task. His unbeaten 76 off 56 balls contained seven fours and two sixes. Delhi, put in, did not impress. Not one batsman crossed the fifty mark but J & K batted poorly, leaving Delhi with a flattering victory margin.
Tuesday will be a rest day.
The scores: Delhi 245 in 49.4 overs (Unmukt Chand 46, Mithun Manhas 41, Mohit Sharma 36, Samiullah Beigh three for 52) bt J and K 120 in 41.4 overs (Hardeep Singh 40, Rajat Bhatia three for 17, Parvinder Awana three for 23).
Haryana 243 for six in 50 overs (Nitin Saini 77, Sachin Rana 59 n.o., Sandeep Godara 39, Sunny Singh 36) lost to Punjab 247 for six in 46.4 overs (Amitoze Singh 76 n.o., Gurkeerat Singh 43, Karan Goel 41, Mandeep Singh 39).
HP 291 for seven in 50 overs (Paras Dogra 114, Prashant Chopra 60, S. Sriram 45, Nishan Singh three for 33) bt Services 273 for seven in 50 overs (Yashpal Singh 108 n.o., Sanjeev Mishra 51, Soumyaranjan Swain 36).