Himachal beats Punjab to enter Ranji Trophy knock out stage

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (UNI) P Dogra hit a splendid half-century as Himachal beat Punjab by four wickets to enter the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy (North Zone) one-day tournament here today.

Punjab, who elected to bat after winning the toss, were off to a slow start as they scored 53 runs for the loss of three wickets in the first 10 overs.

Thereafter, Pankaj Dharmani and Uday Kaul put up a 148-run partnership to take Punjab past the 200-run mark.

Dharmani, who top scored with 94, had nine hits to the fence during his 135-ball innings.

The rest of the batsmen failed to offer much resistance as Punjab were all out for 255.

J Mehta, who returned with figures of 3 for 42, was the pick of the Himachal bowlers.

Himachal suffered an early setback as H Dogra was dismissed by VRV Singh with just seven runs on the board.

VRV Singh and Gagandeep Singh bowled with fire and agression as Himachal were toterring at 65 for the loss of three wickets.

P Dogra (64) then took charge as he put up two useful partnerships with MS Bisla (32) and A Mannu (40) as Himachal overhauled the target with four wickets to spare.

Brief Scores: Punjab: 255 all out (Pankaj Dharmani 94, Uday Kaul 59; J Mehta 3/42) Himachal: 256 for six (P Dogra 64; S Ladda 2/44) UNI AB RL AS2218

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