On a day when he was dropped from the BCCI's graded retainership, Yuvraj Singh came to his own as he blasted Maharashtra attack into submission with an attarctive 136 to guide Punjab to a commanding position in a Ranji Trophy cricket match, here today.
The veteran India discard hit 25 boundaries and a huge six en route his 22nd first-class hundred as Punjab finished second day at 370 for eight, with a healthy first innings lead of 160 runs. last year's runners-up Maharashtra scored 210 in their first innings.
Yuvraj was severe on seamers Anupam Sanklecha (3/75) and Shrikant Mundhe (1/112). Left-arm spinner Akshay darekar (1/57) got the prized scalp but not before getting a bit of stick as 106 off his 136 runs came in boundaries and sixes. It came in 26 scoring strokes.
He added 112 runs for the fifth wicket with Gurkeerat Singh Mann (57). Prior to that, another 112 run stand for the fourth wicket, with opener Jiwanjot Singh (68).
Yuvraj was finally caught by Vijay Zol off Darekar but Punjab's lead by then had reached 88. Skipper Harbhajan Singh (31) then used the long-handle to a good effect as he added 55 runs for the seventh wicket with glovesman Geetansh Khera (38 batting). Harbhajan's 39-ball innings had three fours and a six.
Punjab will ideally like their lead to be around 200 as they are aiming for bonus points from the encounter.
Brief Scores: Maharashtra 1st Innings: 210 Punjab 1st innings 370/8 (Yuvraj Singh 136, Jiwanjot Singh 68, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 58, Harbhajan Singh 31, Anupam Sanklecha 3/75).