Seeking a comeback trial to the Indian Cricket Team for the 2015 ICC World Cup, team’s dropouts Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh failed to catch the eyes of the selectors with some mediocre performances in the first round of matches in the North Zone Vijay Hazare trophy, which is a literally a qualifying tournament for Vijay Hazare trophy, India’s premier ODI tournament.
This tournament usually takes place at the end of Indian domestic season, but this year the BCCI has preponed the tournament as it will help the selectors in picking the squad for the World Cup. This tournament is the final chance for the above mentioned players to prove their form and fitness ahead of the Word Cup. In the first round of matches today, both Punjab and Delhi lost their respective matches to Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
In a tricky wicket at Bilaspur, Delhi openers Sehwag and Gambhir struggled to stamp their authority over the J&K bowlers. Sehwag looked far from his best as he took 37 balls to score 11 before he was stumped by Obaid Haroon of Samiullah Beigh. His partner Gautam Gambhir too struggled to score as he was bowled by Samiullah Beigh for a 75 ball 36. Delhi managed only 212 runs in their fifty overs courtesy half centuries from Milind Kumar and Rajat Bhatia. In reply, J&K, riding on the back of a well-made 74 by skipper Parveez Rasool, chased the score in the last over of the innings with two wickets in hand. Ashish Nehra accounted for 2 wickets giving away 48 runs in his 10 overs.
In the other match at Amtar, Punjab were humbled by Haryana. After putting into bat, Punjab rode on Mandeep Singh’s 86 as they finished for a decent total of 252-8 in 50 overs. A lot was expected from Yuvraj, but he failed to perform as he was stumped by Nitin Saini of JJ Yadav for a 31 ball 23. Haryana chased down the target with three wickets in hand. Harbhajan took 1-38 in his 10 overs.
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