Vijay Hazare trophy: Amitoze, Mandeep fifties take Punjab into final
Ahmedabad: Delightful fifties from Amitoze Singh and Mandeep Singh helped Punjab canter to a seven-wicket win over Odisha and enter the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament final, here today.
Punjab will take on Karnataka, who won a six-run cliffhanger against Bengal in the other semi-final, in the title clash on Tuesday at the same venue.
Chasing 239 for a win at the Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera, the Harbhajan Singh-led side rode on a 167-run second-wicket partnership between Amitoze (91) and Mandeep (81) to achieve the target in 48.3 overs.
Amitoze, whose knock was laced with eight fours and a six, however missed out on his first List A century after being run out by Biplab Samantray.
Mandeep was also unlucky after being scalped by Deepak Rasananda Behera. His knock came off 93 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.
Yuvraj Singh (26 not out) and Taruwar Kohli (35 not out) also provided useful contributions in their 64-run unbeaten partnership for the fourth wicket to speed up Punjab chase.
Earlier, after putting Odisha in to bat, the Punjab bowlers picked up regular wickets to restrict the Samnatray-led side to 238 for seven.
Medium-pacer Baltej Singh bagged two wickets, while Deepak Bansal, Siddharth Kaul, Harbhajan and Yuvraj picked up a wicket each.
Arabind Singh, who top-scored with 89 runs, was looking dangerous when Kohli ran him out to stop the Odisha surge.
Opener Natraj Behera (61), Abhilash Mallick (36) and Anurag Sarangi (24) also chipped in with important runs.
Odisha: 238 for 7 in 50 overs (Arabind Singh 89, Natraj Behera 61; Baltej Singh 2/55)
Punjab: 244 for 3 in 48.3 overs (Amitoze Singh 91, Mandeep Singh 81; Suryakant Pradhan 1/22).