Ranji Trophy 2012-13: SF Round-up, Jan 20
1st semi-final: Saurashtra vs Punjab at Rajkot
The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium erupted in joy when off-spinner Vishal Joshi bowled a perfect leg-break to uproot the stumps behind Sandeep Sharma. Punjab’s second innings folded at 119, Joshi got his five-wicket haul and Saurashtra won by 229 runs.
The elation was unmistakable as Saurashtra had just made it to the final of the Ranji Trophy, after a wait of 75 long years. The last time they played in a Ranji final was as Navanagar, way back in 1937-38. They were beaten by Hyderabad in the final that year, and will be hoping for a positive result this time around.
Resuming their chase of 349 on Day 5 at 45/2, Punjab lost wickets in a heap, thanks mainly to Joshi, who ended up with figures of 5/43 in 11 overs. Mandeep Singh was Punjab’s top-scorer with 33 in an innings where only five batters reached double figures.
Dharmendra Jadeja picked up three wickets and Jaydev Unadkat scalped a couple as Punjab’s second innings finished in 40 overs.
Joshi was adjudged Man of the Match for his five-for in the second innings and a four-wicket haul in the first.
2nd semi-final: Services vs Mumbai at Palam-Delhi
After losing two days to poor weather, the match made progress on the fifth day with Mumbai resuming the first innings at 380 for 6. They declared at 454 for 8 and at stumps, Services had lost three wickets for 164.
Mumbai skipper, Ajit Agarkar, went on to score 145 while his fellow centurion, Aditya Tare was dismissed for 120.
Services pacers combined to pick six Mumbai wickets with Shadab Nazar – who bowled maximum number of overs in the innings – delivering figures of 44-11-142-3.
Services’ innings got off to a dodgy start as they were three down for 72, chasing Mumbai’s huge first-innings total. Dhawal Kulkarni, Ankeet Chavan and Shardul Thakur picked up a wicket apiece.
Soumya Swain (64) and Yashpal Singh (43) are at the crease for Services with a day to go in the match.