Fast bowler Rituraj Singh returned a five-wicket haul as Rajasthan notched a 64-run victory over Haryana and entered their second consecutive Ranji Trophy final, at the Bansi Lal stadium, in Rohtak on Thursday.
In only his third first-class game, Rituraj emerged Rajasthan's highest wicket-taker in the innings, claiming five for 37 as Haryana were dismissed for 120 in their second essay in Lahli.
Rituraj, who finished with a haul of 12 wickets for 82 runs from the semi-final, claimed the wickets of Harshal Patel (1), Prateek Pawar (6) and tail-enders Jayant Yadav (5) and Mohit Sharma (20)in Haryana's second innings. He had dismissed opener Rahul Dewan on Wednesday.
Resuming at 15 for 2, still needing 170 to win, Haryana's second innings folded just an hour after lunch, with Rituraj dismissing Mohit.
Sachin Rana, who was Haryana's highest scorer with 25 runs, provided some resistance, but once he was dismissed just before lunch, with the scoreboard reading 88 for seven, it was all but over for the hosts.
Starting the day under bright, sunny conditions, Haryana could add only five more runs to their overnight score of 15 before losing night-watchman Harshal Patel (1), who nicked a Rituraj delivery and stumper Dishant Yagnik completed the catch.
Prateek Pawar too found it difficult to negotiate the accurate bowling of Rituraj, and after a 21-ball vigil ended up giving his wicket away to the bowler.
Rana, who was the most impressive of Haryana's batsmen in the second innings, applied himself and tried to keep the scoreboard ticking along with opener Nitin Saini (23).
The two batsman took singles and brought up the fifty, but the latter's innings came to an end after he drove at one of Pankaj Singh's (4 for 48) delivery only to nick it to Hrishikesh Kanitkar at first slip.
Medium pacer Sumit Mathur then dismissed new-man Priyank Tehlan (9), who lasted just 28 balls.
Tehlan's dismissal brought skipper Amit Mishra to the crease but 15 minutes before lunch, Rana was trapped in front of wicket when he tried to work Pankaj across the line to the onside.
After lunch, Rajasthan completed formalities and claimed the remaining three wickets, with Jayant Yadav being the first to be dismissed when he struck one wide from Rituraj only to see an outstretched Puneet Yadav taking the catch at point.
Mishra too was dismissed four overs later when his miscued an upper cut off Pankaj that landed in Robin Bist's hand at point.
Mohit tried to force his way out of the rut with a 25-ball 20, studded with four boundaries, but he was soon dismissed by Rituraj, drawing curtains on Haryana's Ranji season.
They will face the winners of the second semi-final, being played between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu.
Rajasthan (1st innings): 89
Haryana (1st innings): 97
Rajasthan (2nd innings): 192
Haryana (2nd innings): Overnight 15-2
N Saini c Kanitkar b Pankaj Singh 23
R Dewan c Yagnik b R Singh 0
Sunny Singh c Yagnik b Pankaj Singh 1
H Patel c Yagnik b R Singh
P Pawar lbw b R Singh 6
S Rana lbw b Pankaj Singh 25
PY Tehlan b Mathur 9
A Mishra c Bist b Pankaj Singh 10
J Yadav c Yadav b R Singh 5
M Sharma c Yadav b R Singh 20
A Hooda not out 3.
Extras: (LB-17) 17
Total: (all out in 48.5 overs) 120
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-1, 3-20, 4-36, 5-55, 6-70, 7-88, 8-95, 9-101, 10-120
Bowling: Pankaj Singh 21-8-48-4, Rituraj Singh 17.5-4-37-5, S Mathur 10-3-18-1.