Palam: Services batsman Yashpal Singh has high hopes of his team following a thumping five-wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir in a Group C encounter here at the Air Force Sports Complex on Tuesday.
With their second win, Services took their points tally to 26 points and also got closer to making it to the quarter-finals. The 31-year-old, who made a brilliant 61 in the second innings to help his team cross the finish-line on a wicket full of demons, said his team has the talent to make it to the final.
“Talentwise, we’re up there. We have the resources to play the final. Can’t say whether we can win the final, but there is no doubt in my mind that we can make it to the final, provided we continue working hard, like we have done so far.”
The Services batsman was buoyant after his team beat J&K to put one foot in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals.
Yashpal, a veteran of 76 first-class matches with almost 6000 runs to his name at an average of 50-plus, had a tough task on his hands after Services, in pursuit of 134, were reduced to 7 for 3 but he showed great character and added 50 and 71 runs with Ranjan Swain and Rajat Paliwal to bring the team within six runs of victory. During his innings he also went past the 700-run mark this season.
Asked whether he was under pressure when he walked out to bat, Yashpal said, “You are always under pressure. In that situation and conditions, most of us would be. But at the back of my mind I knew that one good partnership would seal it for us. And that’s what happened.”
On Paliwal, who got the Man-of-the-Match award for 120 and 47 not out in the match, he said, “He has got great potential. Reads the situation very well. I think he can go far, provided he keeps working hard.”
Meanwhile, a shy Palliwal played down his third ton this season. “I’m happy with my performance. I hope I get a few more big innings. The wicket was difficult but we had the belief that we can chase it down.”
Services next play Jharkhand here on December 29 and three points there would confirm their quarter-final qualification. They can also advance in case of a loss but then they need other results in the group going their way. Yashpal and Paliwal don’t want their team to be dependent on the results of other games in the group.
“Our last match here is very important. We have to make sure that we don’t get complacent,” Yashpal said.
“We will do out best to take the team forward. I do hope that we get past the group stage,” Paliwal said.