Fast bowlers Anubhav Agarwal and Puneet Datey scalped three wickets apiece to help Madhya Pradesh bundle out Punjab for 219 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy 2021-22 quarterfinal match on Monday. (More Cricket News)
Opting to bat, Punjab, who banked on their young core to deliver against Madhya Pradesh, found themselves in a spot of bother from the onset at the Alur Cricket Stadium. Punjab did not have the ideal start, losing Shubman Gill (9) cheaply to Datey.
Punjab skipper Abhishek Sharma (47) and Anmolpreet Singh (47) put on 81 runs for the second wicket to steady the ship. But Datey struck again removing the well-set Sharma in the 24th over, after which things started to go awry for the 1992 Ranji Trophy winners.
Wickets kept tumbling like a pack of cards, as from 98 for 2, Punjab slumped to 166 for 6. With their back against the wall, Sanvir Singh and wicketkeeper-batter Anmol Malhotra played patient knocks of 41 and 27 respectively to save Punjab from humiliation.
But their resistance was short-lived as Madhya Pradesh bowlers continued to make inroads. Agarwal accounted for the wickets of Mandeep Singh and Sanvir. Datey and Agarwal returned with figures of 3/48 and 3/36 respectively.
Off-spinner Saransh Jain (2/45) also chipped in with two wickets. In reply, Madhya Pradesh were five for no loss.
Brief Scores: Punjab: 219 all out in 71.3 overs (Abhishek Sharma 47, Anmolpreet Singh 47; Puneet Datey 3/48, Anubhav Agarwal 3/36); Madhya Pradesh: 5/1.