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Twenty20: Punjab books final berth, courtesy Yuvraj

Published: Friday, April 20, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Mumbai:A swahbuckling half century by India middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh guideded Punjab to an emphatic 71-run win over Orissa to enter the final of the All-India Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Replying to an imposing Punjab score of 201 for 5, the bottom-placed Orissa succumbed to pressure and could manage just 130 for 7 in a Group 'A' tie at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.

Looking extremely comfortable on a true surface, Yuvraj belted eight boundaries and four sixes in his knock of 70 from 39 balls to help Punjab record the highest total so far in the tournament.

Giving Yuvraj fine support was another southpaw Dinesh Mongia (43), with the duo adding 91 runs in just 61 balls for the third wicket.

Middle-order bastman Bipul Sharma with an unbeaten 26 off just 11 balls, played his part in helping Punjab cross the 200-run mark.

Railways pips Karnataka by 7 wickets: Central Zone champions Railways, riding on the Shreyas Khanolkar's blistering unbeaten 47 off 31 balls, registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Karnataka in the last and inconsequential match of Group 'A' tie at the Brabourne stadium here on Thursday.

Railways chased down the healthy 163-run target in 19.1 overs to clinch the victory. However, this match had been reduced to an academic interest with Punjab already having qualified for the final from this group.

Karnataka batting first piled up a competitive score of 162 for five, with Thilak Naidu making a 33 ball 44 with four boundaries and a six. He was well supported by Deepak Chougule, who made an unbeaten 28 off 22 balls with three boundaries, and B Akhil made an unbeaten 29 off just 14 balls with three boundaries and two sixes. Sanjib Sanyal with two for 28 was among the wickets for Railways.

In reply, the Railways lost their captain Sanjay Bangar early, but Amit Pagnis and T P Singh kept them in the hunt with some lusty hitting. Pagnis had to retire after making 45 due to cramps. His knock came in 32 balls and was studded with six boundaries. T P Singh also made a useful 26 ball 29 with one four and a six, before Khanolkar took them to victory making an unbeaten 47 from just 31 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.

Brief scores:

Punjab 201 for 5 in 20 overs (Yuvraj Singh 70, Dinesh Mongia 43, Bipul Sharma 26 no) beat Orissa 130 for 7 in 20 overs (P Jaychandra 39, Bikash Pati 30; Amit Uniyal 3 for 22) by 71 runs.

Karnataka 162 for five in 20 overs (R Uthappa 31, Thilak Naidu 44; Sanjib Sanyal 2 for 28) lost to Railways 163 for three (S Khanolkar 47 n o, A Pagnis 45 retd. hurt T P Singh 29) by seven wickets.

ThatsCricket (with inputs from agencies)

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