In what turned out to be absorbing duels on the third and the final day of the semi finals, Districts XI, recovering in their second innings from 185 for 5, hit 276 in 44.4 overs and bowled out Gujarat for 116 in 29.3 overs, after setting them an easy target of 121 runs in 45 overs. Gujarat's score included 13 penalty runs as Combined Districts XI bowled two overs short.
However, it was E Suresh's brilliant 101 off 93 balls, with four fours and five sixes and his 122 run sixth wicket stand in 18.3 overs with R Srinivasan (39, 53 balls, three fours) which turned the tables on Gujarat, whose batsmen then succumbed to young Tamil Nadu medium pacer R Jesuraj who bagged five wickets for 45 runs.
Gujarat, however had a slice of bad luck as their star batsman Akash Christian could not bat due to a rib injury sustained on the field when he collided with teammate H Wadekar running for a catch.
SPIC TNCA XI who scored 245 for 7 in their second innings, set Andhra a stiff target of 368 in 45 overs. But Andhra succumbed to 235 for 7 in the allotted overs despite good knocks rom Y Gyaneshwar Rao (53, 55 balls, three fours, one six) and A S K Verma (49, 66 balls, three fours). The two also added 67 runs off 12.3 overs for the third wicket.Only Bhavik Thakkar (36, 60 balls, five fours) offered some resistance. Only two other Gujarat batsmen--Hem Joshipur (17) and Hemal Wadekar (12) could reach double figures.
SPIC TNCA XI, who were in a strong position at stumps yesterday, were able to turn the heat on Andhra, thanks to a century knock by India stumper Dinesh Karthik 120, 120 balls, eight fours, four sixes) and his fourth wicket stand of 77 with S Badrinath (28) off 16.2 overs. Dinesh was dismissed for a 'Duck' in the first innings and had to make amends.Opener M Vijay (31) and left hander S Sharath (23) were the other main scorers.
For Andhra, A G Pradeep (36) and V Sandeep (32, 31 balls) were the other top scorers. SPIC TNCA off-spinner R Ashwin claimed four wickets for 67 runs, pushing Andhra to the brink.
Brief Scores:Combined Districts XI 218 and 276( E Suresh 101, Amit Singh 3-36) bt Gujarat 374 and 116 in 29.3 overs(Bhavik Thakkar 36, R Jesuraj 5-45).
SPIC TNCA XI 395-7 and 245-7 in 45 overs(K Dinesh Karthik 120, S Badrinath 28, M Vijay 31) bt Andhra 273 and 235-7 in 45 overs (A S K Varma 49, Y Gyaneshwar rao 53, A G Pradeep 36, R Ashwin 4-67).