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Rajasthan knock Mumbai out of Ranji Trophy

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 27, 2010 19:07 IST
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The match was all but over by the end of second day itself but Rajasthan players had to wait till Monday evening when they officially knocked out defending champions Mumbai to enter the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy.

They will now meet Tamil Nadu in the semi-finals, which will be played at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium from January 3-6.

Having already batted Mumbai out by the second day and further consolidating with a healthy 232 run lead by the penultimate day, it was just a case of going through the motions on the final day.

Former India U-19 captain Ashok Menaria completed his maiden century. Menaria scored 121 -- an innings that was studded with eight boundaries and five towering sixes. He was the last man out but only after Rajasthan has batted for another couple of hours and taken their total to a mammoth 589. Thus Rajasthan ensured their passage in the final with a huge 337-run first innings lead.

Mumbai scored 290 for one in their inconsequential second innings where Rohit Sharma (68) opened with Sahil Kukreja (100 n.o.).

But Ajinkya Rahane provided some entertainment scoring an unbeaten 102 off only 69 deliveries with 12 boundaries and three sixes.

It was rather easy pickings for Mumbai batsmen as Vivek Yadav and Ashok Menaria did the bulk of the scoring.

If Rajasthan have reached where they are, credit should go to three outstation pros Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Aakash Chopra and Rashmi Ranjan Parida who have guided a young team and instilled self belief in them that they can beat the best in the business.

Not to forget the kind of defining performances they put up in crunch games. Like Chopra's triple hundred in the Plate Group semi-finals against Maharashtra or Kanitkar's timely century against Mumbai -- they have risen to the occasion.

The bowlers led by Pankaj Singh also performed well within their limitations. The emergence of a fine swing bowler in Deepak Chahar whose unbelievable debut of eight for 10 against Hyderabad will definitely be one of the highlights of this edition.

If they can upset Tamil Nadu, who have had a lucky ride in the tournament so far, it will be another glorious chapter to their fairytale season.

Baroda enters semis
Baroda: Railways fought their heart out but Baroda qualified for the Ranji Trophy semi-finals on the basis of their first innings lead as their quarter-final clash ended in a draw.

The average first effort, both in batting and bowling, cost Railways dear as they were always doing the catch up job after that, though their performance improved as the match progressed.

Railways resumed the final day at 220 for four and declared their second innings at 366 for eight to set a 199-run victory target.

Overnight batsman Prashant Awasthi completed his century before being run out at 125.

Apart from Awasthi, Dhiran Salvi (40) and Yere Goud (28 n.o.) played good hands down the order to give Railways bowlers one last chance to make it a fight.

However, Baroda were as dominant as they were at the start of match, ending the day at a solid 136 for three to walk out with a draw and a semi-final berth.

Connor Wlliams was unbeaten on 52 while first innings centurion Kedar Devdhar put up another good show of batting with his 55, which had nine boundaries. Devdhar was bowled by Karan Sharma.

Opener jaikishan Kolsawala made 18 runs before being trapped by Jai Prakash Yadav.

The third Baroda wicket fell in form of run out of Rakesh Solanki (1).

Brief Scores:
Railways: 248 & 366/8dec
Baroda: 416 & 136/3 in 60 overs (C Williams 52, K Devdhar 55; J P Yadav 1/15).

Sathish powers Tamil Nadu into semis
Rohtak: Rajagopal Sathish hit a brilliant century as Tamil Nadu beat Haryana to enter the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy by virtue of better run-rate at the Bansi Lal Stadium in Lahli.

Tamil Nadu will now meet Rajasthan in the semi-final to be played in Jaipur from January 3-6.

In another fog-hit day when 55 overs were possible, Tamil Nadu finished the proceedings at 285 for six in 79 overs courtesy Sathish's ton (106) and his 91-run fifth wicket stand with skipper Dinesh Karthik who found some touch back with an useful half century (57).

Amit Mishra and co, have every right to feel upset that Tamil Nadu were lucky enough to scrape through to the semis after having one of the most indifferent seasons in recent times. It was even more tragic that despite having upper hand during most of the sessions, Haryana would in any case have lost due to poor run quotient had a ball not been bowled.

It was pity that foggy weather became their undoing. Even on the day, Haryana new-ball bowlers Joginder Sharma and Sanjay Budhawar did well to dismiss two in-form batsmen in Abhinav Mukund and K Shrivasudevdas respectively.

While Mukund (34) was caught by Dhruv Singh off Budhawar, the wily Joginder rattled Shrivasudevdas' stumps as Tamil Nadu were reeling at 91 for four in the 34th over.

But Sathish came in and started playing shots from the word go. With an able ally skipper Karthik, the two slowly resurrected the innings and also scored runs at a steady pace.

With the match starting in the afternoon session, the pitch eased out a lot and Amit Mishra's failure with ball (0/53 in 12 overs) also affected Haryana's chances of trying to check the run-flow. With all-rounder Sachin Rana (0/46 in 10 overs) also getting some stick from Sathish, Tamil Nadu scored 99 runs from the 22 overs sent down by the duo.

By the time Karthik was trapped leg before by Budhawar, Tamil Nadu were enjoying a better run-rate.

However with still close to two hours of play left, Chandrasekhar Ganapathy (17 n.o.) provided dogged resistance at the other end as he and Sathish added another 95 runs for the seventh wicket.

Karnataka overcome spirited MP
Indore: Karnataka got the better of Madhya Pradesh by five wickets to book a berth in the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy.

After wrapping up Madhya Pradesh quickly on the fourth morning, Karnataka successfully chased down the target of 177 courtesy an unbeaten half century by Amit Verma (68). Verma was also Karnataka's top-scorer in the first innings.

Karnataka will meet Baroda in the semi-finals, which will be played at Vadodara from January 3-6.

Resuming at an overnight score of 312 for seven, Madhya Pradesh could added another 25 runs before being all-out for 337.

The visitors faltered in their run chase with opener KB Pawan (4), Ganesh Sathish (0) and Manish Pandey (9) getting out cheaply, to leave Karnataka struggling at 38 for three at one stage.

But Amit Verma steadied the ship, along with Robin Uthappa (37) as they took the score to 77 before Uthappa was caught by skipper Devendra Bundela off left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma.

Verma, however, first shared a 32-run stand with Stuart Binny (18)

When Binny was dismissed with score at 109 for five, MP still had an outside chance of creating an upset.

However Verma anchored the innings to perfection and found an able ally in wicketkeeper batsman CM Gautham (31) as they added 71 runs for the sixth wicket to ensure an outright win for visitors.

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