UP beat Mumbai to enter Ranji Trophy final

Published: Monday, January 23, 2006, 18:23 [IST]
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Mumbai:Uttar Pradesh, led from the front by skipper Mohammad Kaif, defeated former champions Mumbai by five wickets to storm into the Ranji Trophy Elite final at the Wankhede Stadium here today.

Requiring 214 for victory, Uttar Pradesh, who were 39 for one overnight, reached the target half an hour before tea on the fourth day.

Uttar Pradesh's passage to the championship round was facilitated by 36-time champions Mumbai's shoddy fielding this morning, as Kaif (64) and Suresh Raina (44) enjoyed reprieves to steer their side to a well-deserved win.

Kaif was on 17 when he was dropped by Vinit Indulkar at long-on off medium pacer Avishkar Salvi with Uttar Pradesh on 54 for two. Raina was lucky that Onkar Khanvilkar's throw missed when the visitors were 63 for two. The left-hander had made only two then.

Kaif, who escaped the very next ball after overnight batsman Shivakant Shukla was dismissed, and Raina took advantage of Mumbai's lapses and went on to add 76 runs for the third wicket. The captain then put on 43 for the fourth wicket with Rizwan Shamshad (29) and 25 for the fifth with Jyoti Yadav (26 not out) to put Uttar Pradesh firmly on the road to victory.

Uttar Pradesh has never won the Ranji title and have been runners-up to Karnataka on the only two occasions they have reached the final in 1977-78 and 1997-98.

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