Defending champions Uttar Pradesh avoided relegation on Friday as they carved out a convincing innings and 103-run win over Andhra in their Group A Ranji Trophy Super League match at the Kamla Club Ground here.
The win fetched the hosts five points, including a bonus point, which took their tally to nine from seven matches.
The much-awaited win brought cheers on the faces of the UP players, especially skipper Mohammed Kaif’s, who had led UP to their maiden Ranji Trophy title last season.
Andhra’s resistance finally came to an end in the last ball of the penultimate day’s 15th over with the tall KS Shahabuddin edging a catch into the hands of Suresh Raina at slips off Rudra Pratap Singh.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 65 for 6, Andhra started the day on a bright note. Shahabuddin smashed three consecutive boundaries in an over from Ratnesh Mishra and in the next over, dispatched RP Singh’s first ball for a huge six. The onslaught of the six-feet tall all-rounder continued in the next over as well as he smashed Ratnesh Mishra for two more boundaries.
Andhra needed 171 runs to put Uttar Pradesh bat again when the third day’s play started. Venugopal Rao was the first to depart on the third day to India discard RP Singh. Mohd Faiq (7) too followed his skipper back in the pavilion after RP uprooted his off stump with a lovely yorker in his very next over.
Right-hander D Kalyan Krishna (0) perished to orthodox left-arm spinner Ali Murtuza. But this didn’t dampen Shahabuddin's spirits. He went on to complete his half-century with a powerful boundary in mid-on region.
Andhra: 111 and 132 (K Sahabuddin 60; RP Singh 5 for 49, RP Srivastava 2 for 16, A Murtaza 2 for 9) lost to Uttar Pradesh: 346
Saurashtra frustrate Karnataka
RAJKOT: Hosts Saurashtra put paid to Karnataka’s hopes of registering an outright win as they crawled to 352 for 8 on the penultimate day here on Friday.
Karnataka: 1st innings 570 vs Saurashtra: 1st innings 352 for 8 (K Vaghela 101, S Jogiyani 80, C Pujara 62; R Vinay Kumar 2 for 100, R Bhatkal 3 for 53).