With a draw looming large, the final day’s play of this Ranji Trophy Super League encounter between UP and Baroda was reduced to academic interest only. The Baroda batsmen ensured there were no hiccups and managed to bat almost the entire day to negate Uttar Pradesh’s attempts at bowling them out cheaply.
The visitors, however, could not stop UP from earning three points on the basis of first innings lead.
Batting cautiously, Baroda opener Connor Williams and middle-order batsman Rakesh Solanki put on 103 for the fourth wicket — the highlight of the day, to help Baroda put on 331 runs on board.
Their partnership was important considering the fact that Bhuvneshwar Kumar had packed off three wickets on Thursday. The duo blocked fiery deliveries from the medium-pacers and played the spinners according to merit.
Together, the two pushed the Baroda score from 31/3 (on Thursday) to 134/4, before Solanki (42) got out. A brilliant yorker from Sudeep Tyagi left him undone.
But the veteran opener carried on. With Solanki gone, Williams forged another partnership, this time with the big-hitter Yusuf Pathan. The duo put on 71 runs for the sixth wicket before Williams fell to Praveen Gupta just four shy of a century.
A turner from the left-arm spinner got the better of him as he played it straight to Tanmay Srivastav at short leg.
Yusuf made 78 runs, decorating his innings with two sixes and six fours before falling to Gupta, who picked four wickets.
UP were batting on eight for the loss of one wicket in their second innings when the two skippers decided to call it a day.
UP now take on Delhi in Lucknow, while Baroda take on Karnataka at home. The biggest highlight of this match proved to be the presence of a good crowd. “Seeing people turn out in large number to witness a Ranji game is always a pleasant sight,” said Baroda skipper Irfan Pathan. “The best part was that the spectators were well-behaved and there wasn’t a single untoward incident that took place here.”