Punjab almost secured an improbable victory over Hyderabad, courtesy Shubman Gill’s swashbuckling century during the four-day Ranji Trophy Group-B match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing a daunting target of 338 in 57 overs, Punjab fell short by 14 runs as Gill scored 148 runs off 154 balls. His enterprising knock was studded with 18 boundaries and 2 sixes. However, Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj turned the table in the final few overs to finish off with a four-wicket haul and ensure a draw.
After the first spell from the pace duo of Siraj and T. Ravi Teja, Shubman unleashed his range of strokes. The 19-year-old almost pulled off a heist for Punjab with a perfect mix of aggression and compact technique against both pace and spin.
With the well-set Shubman and captain Mandeep Singh at the crease, Punjab required 110 runs from the last 15 overs. But Siraj came back strongly to dismiss Mandeep (41) in the 49th over of Punjab’s innings. In his very next over, the right-armer struck the most decisive blow, luring Gill into a lofted stroke only to be caught brilliantly by Akshath Reddy.
Amidst some attacking strokes from Manpreet Gony, Siraj continued to chip in with wickets. He finished with the figures of 4 for 71 in his 15 overs as Punjab lost the momentum and had to settle for a draw.
Brief Score: Hyderabad – 317 & 323 for three decl. in 86 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 54, Akshath Reddy 161 n.o., Bavanaka Sandeep 48) drew with Punjab – 303 & 324 for eight in 57 overs (Shubman Gill 148, Anmolpreet Singh 40, Mandeep Singh 41, Mohammed Siraj four for 71) Mohammed Siraj four for 71)