Dogged UP tailenders salvage draw

Published: Saturday, November 20, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lucknow:Uttar Pradesh tailenders doggedly hung on to salvage a draw against Tamil Nadu on the last day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B cricket match here today.

Praveen Gupta epitomised the hosts' tenacity to stick to the crease as he frustrated the bowlers, scoring just one run in 43 balls.

He gave valuable support to Ali Hamid Zaidi (33 not out) to play out 15 of the remaining 16 overs after the team had lost seven wickets for 147 runs and was staring at defeat.

The hosts, who were made to follow on after a first innings debacle, finished the day on 157 for eight but succeeded in denying Tamil Nadu full points for an outright win. The visitors, however, gained two points by virtue of first innings lead.

Resuming at 5 for no loss, Uttar Pradesh needed to play out the entire day to salvage a draw but the possibility looked bleak when they lost half their side for 98 runs with over 30 overs of the day remaining to be bowled.

Tamil Nadu, who had registered an innings victory over Hyderabad in their opening league encounter, went for the kill from the very beginning but the Uttar Pradesh opening pair frustated them for more than an hour.

The pair of Rohit Prakash (11 runs in 134 balls) and S K Shukla (24) preferred to just guard their wickets scoring just 31 runs in 15 overs. But first innings hero, Ramkumar, claimed the wicket of Shukla in the 22nd over and S Vidyut completed the double blow four ball later.

Suresh Raina top scored with 41 while Ram Kumar, Arjun Sarthy and Viduyt claimed two wickets each for Tamil Nadu.

Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu: 353; Uttar Pradesh: 136 and 157 for 8 in 96 overs.

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