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Vijay Hazare Trophy: Punjab pip Assam by 1 run in thriller

Hyderabad: Sarupam Purkayastha's valiant 125 went in vain as Punjab eked out a thrilling one-run win over Assam in a group A encounter of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, here yesterday to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.

Abu Nechim Ahmed (1, 5 balls) played four dot balls in the final over as Punjab snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Batting first, Punjab posted a massive 327 for four with Mandeep Singh (117 no) and Gurkeerat Singh Mann (62) being the chief contributors. Mandeep's 97-ball innings had 12 boundaries and three sixes.

Gurkeerat's blazing 36-ball knock contained seven boundaries and three sixes. Gurkeerat-Mandeep added 128 runs in only 11.5 overs for the fourth wicket to prop up the Punjab score. In reply, Assam were cruising along at one stage having scored 246 for 3 in 39th over before ending tantalisingly close at 326 for eight in stipulated 50 overs.

Sarupam, who has been barred from bowling after his action was found to be suspect, has now started opening the innings. He faced 112 balls to hit 18 boundaries and a six. He had two good partnerships of 124 for the 3rd wicket with Amit Verma (71) and 107 for the 4th wicket with Gokul Sharma (60).

Brief Scores: Punjab 327/4 in 50 overs (Mandeep Singh 117 no, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 62) Assam 326/8 in 50 overs (Sarupam Purkayastha 125, Amit Verma 71, Gokul Sharma 60, Siddharth Kaul 3/74). Punjab beat Assam by 1 run. Points: Punjab 4; Assam 0.

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