Sahara and IA storm into Sheeshmahal semis

Published: Friday, April 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lucknow:Sahara India and holders Indian Airlines today stormed into the semi-finals of the 'Sahara City Homes' All India Sheesh Mahal Cricket Championship being played here.

The two semi-finalists from Group 'B' join Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) and Rizvi Builder's Mumbai who have already made it to the last four from Group 'A'.

Sahara India beat Mini Mount Club at Chowk stadium by 106 runs, while at the K D Singh Babu Stadium, IA overcame UPPSCB by 40 runs.

At the Chowk stadium, Man of the Match and Test discard Sanjay Bangar (59) besides L R Shukla (56) and Mithun Minhas (51) helped Sahara amass 249 for nine in stipulated 40 overs.

Another team India star Gautam Gambhir, who scored brilliant 77 run knock yesterday failed to repeat the feat today after being dismissed for zero In reply Mini Mount Club after good start failed to match the stature of their rivals and were bundled out for 143 runs losing the match by 106 runs. Pacers Jogindar Sharma and Shibsagar Singh took two wickets each for Sahara.

At the Babu Stadium, batting first IA openers Ravneet Rickey (49) and Manish Sharma (74) started their campaign in style scoring over five runs per over in the 127-run opening wicket stand. Both departed on the same total within a span of three balls.

Skipper and Man of the Match Shafiq Khan took over the baton from there in his 55 balls knock of 73 comprising three boundaries and a six. The other batters, however, failed to capitalise over the good start, bowing down meakly.

Chasing IAs target of 246, UPPSCB fell 40 runs short of the victory target, despite stellar contributions from Rahat Elahi (82) and Sachin Chowdhary (44). For IA Mark Ingty, Sonu Sharma and Arun Pandey claimed two scalps apiece, while Sachin Rana, Ishan Ganda and Shafiq Khan ended up with a wicket each.

Tomorrow giants Sahara India and India Airlines meet at K D Singh Babu stadium, while Mini Mount Club and UPPSCB will meet at Chowk Stadium. Both the encounters are of academic importance only.

The semi finals of the championship will be played on April 30 and May one while final is slated to be held on May 2.

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