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|TN sets up repeat title clash with Mumbai|
Thursday, March 18 2004 19:52 Hrs (IST)
Tamil Nadu qualified for the title clash by virtue of their 139 run first innings lead over Indian Railways after their match ended in a draw in Chennai on the last day on Thursday.
Mumbai, who won the trophy for the 35th time last year, have reached the final beating Hyderabad on the third day of their semi-final on home turf on Tuesday.
On the concluding day, twice champions Tamil Nadu, 128 for two overnight, were all out 306, leaving an impossible target of 445 runs for a win in 33 overs to the Railways. The visitors managed to score 117 losing five wickets in 26 overs when the match was called off after the rival captains agreed for a draw in the eighth mandatory over.
The highlight of the day's play was a superb 97 by Test drop out, Sadagopan Ramesh. He faced 226 balls in 286 minutes and hit eleven fours before being stumped by Sudhir Wankhade off Madan Yadav, who claimed four wickets conceding 117 runs. Wankhade went on to finish with a rich haul of five victims.
Off-spinner K Parida too was at his best, sending back four Tamil Nadu batsmen for an analysis of 25.4-5-65-4.
In reply, Railways were in dire straits losing four wickets for just 15, medium pacer Ganapthy scalping three of them and D Tamil Kumaran dismissing first innings centurion J P Yadav for just five. But, Raja Ali chipped in with 36 and Siddarth Varma hit an unbeaten on 39 to halt the slide.
Brief Scores: TN 481 and 306 (S Ramesh 97, D Kartik 48; M Yadav 4/117, K Parida 4/65) drew with Railways 342 and 117 for 5 (R Ali 36, S Varma n o 39; Ganapathy 3/20).
TN gain vital first innings lead