Rajat Paliwal scored his second successive century and was involved in a 195-run partnership with skipper Yashpal Singh, which guided minnows Services into the quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a one-wicket win over Vidarbha in an exciting finish here today.
Services will meet Jharkhand in the quarter-final match at the JU (2nd campus ground).
Batting first, Vidarbha scored 283 for six with skipper Shalabh Srivastava scoring an 89-ball 84 and Urvesh Patel contributing 59. In reply, Services won off the last delivery of the match, scoring 286 for nine.
Paliwal, after his 105 against Delhi, smashed 112 off only 99 deliveries with 11 fours and a six, while Yashpal proved to be an able ally, scoring 81 off 100 balls with eight boundaries.
The duo came together with Services in trouble at 29 for three, having lost the wickets of Devender Lochab (18), Pratik Desai (10) and Nakul Verma (1). That was the time when Umesh Yadav (3/54) removed both openers.
Yashpal and Paliwal were watchful to begin with but once Umesh was through with his first spell, they opened up. Spinners Akshay Wakhare and Gaurav Upadhyaya were taken for 56 runs in the nine overs they bowled between them.
Left-arm spinner Ravi Jangid (2/43) and left-arm seamer Shrikant Wagh (2/56) didn't pose much problems.
Taking full advantage of the powerplay, the Services' most experienced duo added 195 runs in just 32 overs at a healthy rate of six per over. However, Yashpal and Paliwal were out in quick succession in the space of three deliveries from Jangid.
Soon it became 248 for seven with Soumya Ranjan Swain (14) and Suraj Yadav (0) being sent back by Umesh and Wagh, respectively.
Abhishek Sinha (20 no) and Shadab Nazar (16) added 32 runs in a whirlwind partnership that lasted a little over three overs. However, Sinha and Abhishek Sakuja (4 no) held their nerves to win it off the last delivery.
Brief Scores: Vidarbha 283/6 in 50 overs (Shalabh Srivastava 84, Urvesh Patel 59, Abhishek Sakuja 2/43).
Services 286/9 in 50 overs (Rajat Paliwal 112, Yashpal Singh 81, Umesh Yadav 3/54). Services won by 1 wkt.
Quarter-final: Services vs Jharkhand (JU 2nd Campus, March 12). PTI KHS AH KHS 03101750