Fast bowler Rudra Pratap Singh underlined his potential with a four-wicket haul as Ranji champions Uttar Pradesh lifted the inaugural Mohammed Nissar Trophy after scoring a 316-run victory over Pakistan national champions Sialkot in Dharmashala on Saturday.
After setting a mammoth target of 429, Uttar Pradesh dismissed the visitors for 112 in 35.5 overs to wrap up an early win at the HPCA stadium.
The result seemed to be a foregone conclusion as the injury-battered Sialkot team was without two of its main batsmen -- captain Imran Nazir and wicketkeeper Khalid Hafeez -- and speedster Mohammed Asif, who left for Pakistan due to fitness worries.
After declaring their second innings at 373 for 7 in the morning, it was only matter of time before the home bowlers packed off the demoralised the visiting side.
Sialkot captain Imran Nazir said the unavailability of some key players cost them the match.
"Rana Naved-ul-Hasan could not come. Mohammed Asif, myself and some others picked freak injuries during the match. So that posed a problem for us," he said.
UP's stand-in skipper Suresh Raina was pleased that the team did not allow the absence of Mohammed Kaif to affect its morale.
"The boys played like a closed knit unit," he said.
UP coach Rajinder Singh Hans praised the effort of the seamers.
"I had faith in my seamers. They have done a good job and I am sure they will continue to perform well," he said.
R P was the star of the show today, sending back Mansoor Amjad, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed while giving away only 26 runs in the 9.5 overs he bowled.
The biggest stand for Sialkot came from the combine of Shehzad Malik (31 not out) and Tahir Mughal (24). They added 45 runs for the fifth wicket before left-arm seamer Salabh Srivasatva broke the partnership just after the lunch by scalping Mughal.
Shehzad and Shoaib Malik then added 23 runs for the sixth wicket and tried to put up a semblance of fight.
However, R P struck twice in consecutive balls to send back Shoaib and Sarfaraz.
Earlier, UP resumed their second innings at 361 for seven and declared after Jyoti Yadav reached his half century (53) which was studded with four boundaries.
Chasing the imposing target, Sialkot struggled from the beginning as makeshift opener Shahid Yousuf failed to stand up to the sustained attack by the Uttar Pradesh seamers and was trapped leg before off Praveen Kumar for five.
Sialkot suffered another setback when Mansoor Amjad edged R P, who was able to get good seam movement.
Abdul Rehman too came a cropper against the swing of the India new ball bowler and was caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Amir Khan for 7.
Opener Hafiz Majid promised a lot in his 47-ball knock which contained five fours but a lapse of concentration saw him present the hard-working Salabh a deserving wicket.
Veteran UP batsman Rizwan Shamshad was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his half-centuries in both the innings.
R P was named the best bowler while Sialkot captain Nazir was adjudged best batsman for his blistering century in the first innings.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings): 316
Sialkot (1st innings): 261
Uttar Pradesh (2nd innings):
Rohit Prakash c Yousuf b Majid 34
Shivakant Shukla c Yousuf b Mughal 36
Suresh Raina b Rehman 55
Ravikant Shukla c Majid b Mughal 64
Rizwan Shamshad c sub (Satvinder) b Amjad 88
Jyoti Yadav not out 53
Praveen Kumar c sub (Atiq-ur-Rehman) b Mughal 1
Piyush Chawla c and b Majid 8
Mohammad Amir Khan not out 6
Extras: (b-12, lb-2, nb-14) 28
Total: (for 7 wkts decl. in 100.2 overs) 373
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-95, 3-165, 4-238, 5-328, 6-337, 7-361.
Bowling: Asif 4-1-7-0, Sarfaraz 22-4-68-0, Mughal 23.2-3-103-3, Majid 10-1-31-2, Rehman 27-1-108-1, Shoaib Malik 7-1-23-0, Amjad 5-0-16-1, Shehzad Malik 2-0-3-0.
Sialkot (2nd innings):
Shahid Yousuf lbw b Praveen 5
Hafiz Majid c Amir b Srivastava 27
Mansoor Amjad c Shamshad b RP Singh 0
Abdul Rehman c Amir b RP Singh 7
Shehzad Malik not out 31
Tahir Mughal c RP Singh b Srivastava 24
Shoaib Malik c Amir b Singh 11
Sarfaraz Ahmed b RP Singh 0
Hafiz Khalid retd out
Imran Nazir retd out
Mohammad Asif retd out
Extras: (b-4, lb-3) 7
Total: (all out in 35.5 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-14, 3-36, 4-43, 5-89, 6-112, 7-112.
Bowling: R P Singh 9.5-2-26-4, Praveen Kumar 9-3-35-1, Piyush Chawla 6-2-13-0, Salabh Srivastava 9-3-25-2, Suresh Raina 2-0-6-0.