Double delight for Saurashtra
It was a special occasion for Saurashtra cricket as they registered an emphatic win on the basis of the first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group semifinal.india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 11:18 IST
The sound of crackers from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation's Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground on Sunday afternoon hinted that it was a special afternoon for the Kathiawad. Indeed it was a special occasion for Saurashtra cricket as the hosts held nerves to register an emphatic win on the basis of the first innings lead against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group semifinal that concluded here. The victory ensured the hosts get elevated to the Elite division in the next season.
Chasing a near impossible target of 438 runs off 50 overs, Madhya Pradesh were 259 for 5 when the match was called off after eight mandatory overs. Brajesh Tomar and MP skipper S Abbas Ali were not out on 37 and 3, respectively.
With a lead of almost 350 and two second innings wickets in hand at the beginning of last day's play, Saurashtra batted the first session out to take away any chance of a MP comeback on the last day. Seasoned campaigner Sitanshu Kotak (55), who was out leg before in the last over before lunch, and tailender Sandeep Jobanputra (48) batted exceptionally well to add 88 runs for the ninth wicket.
Set to score almost nine runs an over, MP, who had earlier conceded a 21-run first-innings lead, had nothing to lose. Openers Naman Ojha (80) and Sachin Dholpure (33) came out with a positive frame of mind. Despite six Saurashtra fielders placed on the boundary line, the openers found gaps on a regular basis. At 72 for no loss in the 10th over, there was a remote glimpse of hope for MP as Ojha was finding the gaps at will. However, on the last delivery of a Sandeep Maniyar over, Ojha sent Dholpure back after making an early call. Dholpure, who was already halfway down the crease, could only see bowler Maniyar shattering all the three stumps with a powerful direct hit from the middle of the crease.
India-discard Amay Khurasiya (27) and Ojha then added another 74 runs in the next 10 overs. It included 19 runs, including two boundaries and a six by Ojha. However, both Khurasiya and Ojha departed in an attempt to up the tempo and the latter's stumping on the stroke of tea fumed all the MP hopes.
Saurashtra coach Debu Mitra was elated with his team's achievement. "I had never expected the team to be elevated to the Elite division at the beginning of the season," said Mitra.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 296Madhya Pradesh 1st innings: 275 Saurashtra 2nd innings (Overnight 327 for 8) (Kanhaiya Vaghela b Golwalkar 54, Sagar Jogiyani c Ojha b Sudheendra 80, Prashant Joshi lbw b Sudheendra 71, Firoz Bambhaniya b Golwalkar 4, Kamlesh Makwana c Ojha b Rajan 33, Sitanshu Kotak lbw b Sudheendra 55, Jaydev Shah c Rajan b Gowalkar 2, Benson Songavkar b Golwalkar 7, Rakesh Dhruve b Sudheendra 27, Sandeep Jobanputra c sub (Bakshi) b Rajan 48, Sandeep Maniyar not out 0. Extras --b-8, lb-9, nb-17, w-1-- 35) Total (all out, 191.3 ovs) 416
Fall of wkts: 1-127, 2-146, 3-157, 4263, 5-270, 6-273, 7-284, 8-322 9-410. Bowling: Sanjay Pandey 27-3-74-0, T Sudheendra 40-16-87-4, Anand Rajan 38.3-16-97-2, S Abbas Ali 13 6-28-0,Devendra Bundela 14-5-20-0, Yogesh Golwalkar 56-23-93-4, Brajesh Tomar 3-3-0-0.
Madhya Pradesh 2nd innings: (Sachin Dholpure run out (Maniyar) 33, Naman Ojha st Jogiyani b Shah 80, Amay Khurasia c Vaghela b Dhruve 27, Devendra Bundela c Jogiyani b Jobanputra 59, Mohnish Mishra c Jobanputra b Dhruve 6, Brajesh Tomar not out 37, S Abbas Ali not out 3. Extras --b-6, lb-5, nb1, w-4-- 16) Total (5 wkts, 43ovs) 261.
Fall of wkts: 1-72, 2-146, 3-151 4-166, 5-252 Bowling: Sandeep Jobanputra 13-0-66-1, Sandeep Maniyar 6-043-0, Kamlesh Makwana 3-0-24-0, Rakesh Dhruve 7-0-38-2, Sitanshu Kotak 1-0-19-0, Jaydev Shah 6-1-361, Benson Songavkar 5-1-20-0, Firoz Bambaniya 1-0-4-0, Prashant Joshi 1-1-0-0.