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Ranji Onedayers: Day 4

A buoyant Delhi side will face Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji one-dayers on Saturday. Can the hosts make it three in a row, or will Himachal spring a surprise? HT brings Ranji Roundup.

india Updated: Feb 29, 2008 19:25 IST

TN, Karnataka almost through

(by G Krishnan in Chennai)

TAMIL NADU and Karnataka registered their third straight wins in as many matches to almost assure themselves of berths from South Zone in the all-India knockout tournament for the Premier Cup in April.

On Friday, Tamil Nadu saw off a serious threat from Hyderabad, winning by two wickets with one over to spare at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College ground while Karnataka were almost shocked by Goa. Chasing 313, Goa were cruising at 291 for 4 thanks to centuries by imports J Arun Kumar (108) and Ajay Ratra (103) but lost their way and ended with 307.

Brief scores:

At SRMC: Hyderabad 236 for 6 in 50 overs (S Anoop Pai 49, Abhinav Kumar 93; C Ganapathy 3-43, R Ashwin 3-32) lost to Tamil Nadu 237 for 8 in 49 overs (Murali Vijay 108). TN: 4 pts; Hyderabad: 0 pt.

At Gurunanak College: Karnataka 312 for 9 in 50 overs (CM Gautham 40, T Vinay Kumar 82, C Raghu 70, D Patil 52; S Bandekar 4-52) bt Goa 307 all out in 49.5 overs (J Arun Kumar 108, A Ratra 103, S Jakati 50; R Vinay Kumar 4-46). Karnataka: 4 pts; Goa: 0.

At Pachaiyappa's College: Kerala 317 for 5 in 50 overs (S Anthony 52, R Prem 76, RV Gomez 40, PV Manikandan 84; Y Gnaneswara Rao 3-53) lost to Andhra 320 for 3 in 47.3 overs (LN Prasad Reddy 72, Gnaneswara Rao 159 n.o., ASK Verma 43 n.o.).

It's a crucial tie for UP against MP

(by Sharad Deep in Kanpur)

AFTER A day's rest, the final half of the Central Zone Ranji Trophy one-day league begins here on Saturday with defending zonal champions and favourites Uttar Pradesh playing against an energetic Madhya Pradesh, at the Green Park Stadium. Rajasthan play Vidarbha in the other game.

With just five points in two matches, the Mohammed Kaif-led side, had a long training session at the nets on Friday. It had to be that way as they know that Saturday's match will decide whether they go through the knockout or not.

For Madhya Pradesh too, who lead the points table with 10 points in two matches so far, the tie is of equal importance as a win here would see them through to the knock-outs.

"We are a young side and the boys are desperate for a good show," said MP manager Rajeev Dua, adding, "Undoubtedly, UP is a much-better side, but our boys are capable enough to turn the table."

RP unlikely!

Against the wishes of the team management, Rudra Pratap Singh is unlikely to play Saturday's match. The seamer, who is nursing an injury after being ruled out for the ongoing CB Series in Australia, told Hindustan Times that so far 'he wasn't ready' for Saturday's match, but hoped to play in the last league match against Vidarbha on Sunday.

"I haven't decided to play Saturday's match as I also need permission for that from the physio, but I may play the Sunday's match," said Rudra.

Squads:

UP: Mohd Kaif (captain), Ravikant Shukla, Shivakant Shukla, Anshul Kapoor, Akash Verma, Parminder Singh, Rahat Elahi, Eklavya Dwivedi, Praveen Gupta, Sudeep Tyagi, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Ashish Yadav, SS Senger, Mohd Abid Khan and Bhuvnesh Kumar. Coach: Gyanendra Pandey; Manager: AW Zaidi.

MP: Sanjay Pandey (captain), Naman Ojha, H Sagar, Jatin Saxena, R Bakshi, M Ali, Shadab Khan, J Saxena, A Jadhav, S Dholpure, S Pitre, Harpreet Singh, Rajesh Kanojiya, Zaffar Ali, Rameej Khan. Coach: Amit Vijay Vargia; Manager: Rajeev Dua.

Vidarbha take on Rajasthan

Squads:

Rajasthan: Rohit Jhalani (captain), Rohit Sharma, Manish Sharma, Rajesh Vishnoi, Vineet Saxena, Nikhil Doru, Sumit Khatri, Pankaj Singh, Shailendra Gehlot, Sumit Mathur, Shamsher Singh, Robint Bisht and Mohd Arif. Coach: Amit Asawa.

Vidarbha: Pritam Gandhe (captain), Faiza Fazal, Amit Paunikar, Alind Naidu, Ravi Jangid, Ranjit Paradkar, Gaurav Upadhaya, Urvesh Patel, Sandip Singh, Mohd Hashim, A Lokhande and Viraj Kadbe.


Confident Delhi to take on HP

(by Arjun Sen in New Delhi)

ON SATURDAY, the Delhi one-day side face Himachal Pradesh in their third North Zone one-dayer here at the Kotla. Though Himachal shouldn't pose too much of a problem for Delhi, the hosts wouldn't want to take chances.

They are a team in form, and would undoubtedly want to make it three-in-a-row. Having virtually qualified for the knockouts, Delhi can afford to make a few changes for this match.

Both of Delhi's wins were results of great batting efforts, and the bowlers are yet to prove themselves.

Aakash Chopra, hoping to notch up his third ton in as many matches, will lead the batting, while old workhorse Amit Bhandari will handle the new ball. Bhandari has been rather economical with the ball, and has taken wickets with the new ball in both games. Himachal have also won both their games in this tournament, and have the resources to give Delhi a fight.

Squads:

Himachal Pradesh: Ajay Mannu (Captain), Varun Mishra, Vishal Bhatia, Manvinder Bisla, Rishi Dhawan, K Diwan, Hemant Dogra, Paras Dogra, Vikramjeet Malik, Jitender Mehta, Mukesh Sharma, Sarandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Ashok Thakur

Delhi: Mithun Manhas (Captain), Parwinder Awana, Aditya Jain, Amit Bhandari, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht, Gaurav Chabra, Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Manan Sharma, Chetanya Nanda, Sumit Narwal, NS Negi, Suhail Sharma, Mayank Tehlan Manager: SS Sareen


Bengal to face Tripura

( by Nilankur Das in Guwahati)

Tripura have long been the whipping boys when it comes to cricket in the East Zone. Bengal, on the other hand, have dominated the zone for some time. This season though things are a wee bit different. Tripura, under former India wicketkeeper Sameer Dighe as coach, have looked a transformed side in the two matches they have played here so far, defeating Jharkhand in the first and giving a tough time to Orissa on Thursday.


Bengal on the other hand, have lost their batting order to the ICL in the beginning of the season and have been relegated to the Plate Group. One-dayers are a different tournament, Bengal coach Bharathi Arun insists, but even he accepted that during the good start to their East Zone one-day campaign against Assam on Thursday, their batting was not tested. So, the string of four debutants that form the stem of Bengal's batting after skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla at No. 4, has kept everybody guessing before their second match at the Nehru Stadium here.

Teams generally try and leave shreds of complacency behind when it comes to one-dayers no matter how weak the opponents are. And under the changed circumstances, it was hardly surprising to see Bengal having a full net session the day after playing a match, underlining the fact that even they believe the gap between the teams has reduced considerably. The Tripura team did not train on Friday and were further relieved to hear that Sourav Ganguly would join the Bengal squad only on Sunday. "Had Sourav been here, the competition would have been better," Dighe said even though the relief on his face was evident. "Now that the boys have won one, they know if they can beat Bengal tomorrow the momentum would carry them past Assam who are almost out of the race for qualification," Dighe added.

With the likes of Saurabh Dubey of Uttar Pradesh, who gave them a good start against Orissa with a 106-ball 93, and left-arm spinner Tushar Saha, who has had a good season so far, Dighe had reasons to be confident. "The boys underwent a week-long high intensity training before coming here where they have trained according to match situations. This is helping them now and I am thankful to the boys that against Orissa when they were almost out of the match at one point, they did not give up and showed great character. Had a couple of decisions gone in favour of us, who knows, we could have had a different result," Dighe said.

In the other match on Saturday, Orissa who are on top of the table with eight points from two matches, will take on Jharkhand at the North-East Frontier Railway Stadium in Maligaon.