Ranji Super League: UP books place in final

Published: Monday, January 7, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Baroda: Riding on the hostile spell of fast bowling by Praveen Kumar (4/39) and Sudeep Tyagi (4/42) Uttar Pradesh stormed into the finals of the 74th Ranji Trophy Championship defeating Saurashtra by 48 runs with more than a day to spare in the first semi-final played at the Motibaug Palace Cricket Ground here on Monday.

It took just an hour for Uttar Pradesh to complete the formalities snapping up the remaining three wickets as Saurashtra, set to score 162 for a win were bundled out for 113.

Overnight 93/7, Saurashtra continued to find it difficult to face Praveen and Tyagi.  Praveen the India-A paceman bowled to an immaculate line and length and made ball move a tad away from off-stump line so as to trouble Saurashtra right-handers. He accounted for Kamlesh Makwani (13) Sandeep Jobanputra (0) in his six maiden overs.

Tyagi too bowled to a probing line and plucked the prized wicket of Sitanshu Kotak (52, 130b,1x4) with a fine yorker in the 13th over of the day to fire UP to the final of this premier domestic c'ship.

Uttar Pradesh had made it to the Ranji finals in 1939-40, 1977-78, 1997-98 and 2005-06, it won the coveted trophy for the first time only in 2005-06 under the captaincy of Mohd Kaif, who has the honour of leading the side to the finals this year too.

UP will now take on the winners of the second semis' between Delhi- Vadodara in the finals to be played at Mumbai from Jan 16.

Despite losing seven second innings' wickets for 63 runs, Saurashtra had not lost all hope of making their maiden entry into the finals as their star batsmen, Kotak and Makvana, took the score to 93 without any further loss at stumps yesterday. However Praveen and Tyagi had other plans.

Kotak, who was dropped at his overnight score of 41 by Ravikant Shukla at third slip off Tyagi, hit the bowler for a four and a two before being bowled out for 52, the third half-century registered in the low-scoring match. The other two half-century makers were UP skipper Mohd Kaif (80) and his Saurashtra counterpart Jaydev Shah (57).

Praveen and Tyagi, who helped UP gain 61-run lead in the first innings by grabbing four wickets apiece. Praveen reaped a rich harvest of 79/8 his partner returned with a creditable figures of  91/8.

National Selection Panel Chief Dilip Vengsarkar praised the Motibaug wicket as well as the outfield that helped the bowlers to dominate the proceedings all through the match, which ended with two full days and more than two sessions to spare.

''The batsmen have failed to perform on a good wicket helpful to both bowlers and batsmen although the later have to be blamed themselves for want of application,'' he added.

Brief Scores:

Uttar Pradesh 188 and 100 beat Saurashtra 127 and 113 (Sitanshu Kotak 52; Praveen Kumar 4 for 39, S Tyagi 4 for 42).


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