January 20, 2013

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, SF

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Semi-finals, Day 5

Sidharth Monga

Services 164 for 3 (Swain 64*) trail Mumbai (toss) 454 for 8 decl. (Agarkar 145, Tare 120) by 290 in Delhi

A plane prepares its descent over the Palam Ground, Services v Mumbai, Ranji Trophy 2012-13, 2nd semi-final, Delhi, 2nd day, January 17, 2013
It's been raining air planes, hail and bad light over the last four days  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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5.27pm And that is stumps then. Services end the day at 164 for 3, having made a comeback from 72 for 3. Swain and Yashpal have now thwarted Mumbai for 26.2 overs. This is all very interesting, and will continue to be so if we don't get a timely start tomorrow. Yes, now I get to officially say it, the semi-final has now entered a sixth day

And we will be there, in all our glory, to call the final day. The toss is not yet out of the equation. Do join us tomorrow

5.25pm - The over after Thakur has made many furious appeals against Swain who could do with a walk back to the dressing room now. Without losing his wicket, that is. It is all hanging by a thread and Mumbai know it. Swain has been beaten twice by Thakur in this over. He has now taken a single but it means if they can squeeze out another over from this, then Agarkar gets another shot at Swain. Yashpal now looks the pro. Blocks and grabs a single off the last ball. Now out come the light metres. Services 164 for 3

5.20pm - The final over of the day Says Sharda Ugra: "Third ball of Agarkar's sunset over, Swain has a nervous push, which falls short of Jaffer at second slip. Yashpal walks over to have a chat. Agarkar is bowling across Swain and offering him lollies to nibble at. And, oh wait. The over is survived but we are going beyond the cut-off time. The scheduled close was 4.155pm, we have already had an extra hour, but we are still playing on. Services 162 for 3"

5.15pm - Drama before stumps Says Sharda: "In a marvellous gesture of time wasting, which must be well known to Mumbai, in order to ensure that they don't have to face another Agarkar over, two people have run out and given some treatment to Yashpal's thigh. Tendulkar wanders over to make an inquiry, or maybe find out about the injury.

"Now the security men are very nervous because this is the first time Tendulkar is on this field and about to walk back to the dressing room and a public waiting on the boundary. Oh ho it is not stumps yet. We will get another over in"

5.10pm - Last five minutes Services have stayed alive through this partnership. Five more minutes to go to stumps. They are 152 for 3 after 54 overs

4.55pm - Swain reaches fifty With a flick off Shardul Thakur, the stand-in captain reaches the landmark, only his second score over 33 this season. He began the Ranji season with a 118 off HP in the second Ranji game but otherwise his scores have been 21, 3, 33, 30, 9, 18*, 14, 22, 12 & 10. Have Services found another timely hero? We will soon find out. At the moment, they are 143 for 3, with 10 overs to bat out today.

Sharda Ugra adds Swain is the only soldier in Services who came in through normal ranks and not the sports-quota hiring. He gave away his whites when he joined the air force as an "airman", thinking he won't need his cricket clothes any more.

4.50pm - Another invasion In the previous match, Sahcin Tendulkar had a middle-aged man run onto the field and touch his feet. It has happened again. Says Sharda Ugra, "The military discipline has been broken. The crowd are all seated around the boundary and one of them suddenly couldn't contain himself and ran onto the field. He reached Tendulkar, touched his feet, and shook his hand before any securityman could reach him.

"Now the public has been moved back from the boundary line, from where the man had emerged, with many uniformed men going there and being dismissive. The Services team is sitting around the boundary, and asking their buddy next to the scorer to keep telling them the scores. The light is quite lovely. You could not imagine this was the same place where at 10 am felt like a bloody freezer. Services 134 for 3 after 50 overs"

Perhaps these people are running on and touching his feet to remind him of his age?

4.40pm - Nehra, Jadeja in the house In attendance at Palam are Ashish Nehra and Ajay Jadeja. Sharda Ugra thinks Nehra could be wanting to join the Armed Forces Medical College. She also says the two have been seen chatting in a friendly manner to Roger Binny. A child, who asked for and got an autograph from Nehra, says. astonished, "How normal Nehra is." A comment that has made all physios and trainers known to Nehra roll their eyes

Services, meanwhile, have reached 125 for 3, having batted out 48 overs

4.30pm - Services hanging in The fourth-wicket partnership between Swain and Yashpal has now gone on for 14.2 overs. Swain 36 off 76, and Yashpal 20 off 43. Still 16 overs to go today, but they know if these two can bat them out, and if there is another delayed start, Mumbai will be the anxious side

4.15pm - Hundred up for Services Mumbai still looking for their fourth wicket as Services cross 100. Still about 21 overs to go

4pm Swain and Yshpal have added 22 for the fourth wicket in seven overs. About 23 overs to go today. Services 94 for 3

3.35pm - Mumbai get a third Shardul Thakur has Anshul Gupta caught at third slip. Mumbai staying in touch. Gupta gone for 31. Services 72 for 3

3.20pm Over the last 20 minutes, Anshul Gupta has been dropped for 23. Services have reached 62 for 2 in 27 overs. A possible 34 overs left for the day

Says Sharda: "Anshul Gupta has woken everyone up and swung Dabholkar over square leg for four… A boundary greeted by less applause that the sound of Tendulkar making a stop and throw."

3pm After all your feedback regarding the RoI team (and this is just imagination because Mumbai are not guaranteed a place in the final yet, let alone winning the final, which won't be a walk in the park either), let's make these changes: Sid Kaul and Ishwar Pandey ahead of Ishant Sharma and Shami Ahmed

2.40pm Services go into tea at 41 for 2. An optimistic hope for 39 more overs today

2.30pm - A thought for Irani It looks like Mumbai will make it, and if they do make it, they will be favourites at home. And should they win their 40th title, what a superb Irani match we will have with all cricketers available in India. These are my teams, considering Zaheer will recover in time and Yadav will not

Rest of India Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, CM Gautam, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed

Mumbai Wasim Jaffer, Aditya Tare, Ajinkya Rahane, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Hiken Shah, Abhishek Nayar, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ankeet Chavan

@sid will rajkot be vanue for final or mumbai? what will be the procedure followed by bcci to decide the vanue?

Jignesh Sakaria, in that case the venue will be Mumbai because the last match between these teams was played in Rajkot. If it is Services v Saurashtra, the match will be played in Delhi, although you will need more rain and torn covers for that possibility to even arise

2.15pm - Desai's troubled stay ends Dhawal Kulkarni has been troubling Desai for a bit now. He has had lbw shouts turned down, he has hit him once, and eventually Desai falls to the left-arm spin of Ankeet Chavan. Yorks himself up. Gone for 4 off 50 balls

2pm - Afternoon drinks At the first drinks interval, Services are 20 for 1 after 13 overs

1.48pm - Wicket The last time a wicket fell in this match was on Wednesay. We have three today. The first two fell in search of quick runs, but Dhawal Kulkarni has taken one out now. He has got Nakul Verma lbw

1.45pm Ten overs bowled. Ten overs survived. Services are 14 for 0. Remember they are without regular captain and opener Soumik Chatterjee

1.35pm - It's all slow Not much action. Services have scored one run in their last seven over, and have reached 9 for 0 after eight over. Agarkar and Kulkarni have changed ends, and used Vishal Dhabolkar for one over to help them do so. Sharda Ugra says nobody is in a terrible hurry out there

1.05pm Services have begun with two boundaries in the first over. Nakul Verma guides Ajit Agarkar for one to third man, and pulls him for another

12.50pm - Mumbai declare Mumbai have finally declared. They batted nine overs for 74 runs. Sixty-one overs remain in the day

12.40pm - Agarkar gone but no declaration Agarkar is out pulling Sinha to the fielder, substitute Mohammad Khalid, at midwicket. Shardul Thakur is the new man in. So that means no declaration. Mumbai 435 for 8. Thakur is dropped first ball, and Kulkarni hits a six after that. Mumbai 444 for 8

12.30pm - More quick runs Mumbai have added 35 runs in 4.4 overs this morning for the loss of Aditya Tare. No declaration, though, as Dhawal Kulkarni comes out to bat

12.20pm - Mumbai on the attack Mumbai have struck 20 runs in the first two overs to bring up 400. Surely the declaration is not too far?

12.10pm Sharda Ugra is there at Palam Ground. She has braved bad weather and bad outfield every day. She says: "Because it is Sunday, there are a lot of air force families here to catch sight of Tendulkar. For him to return from knocking to dressing room becomes a crowd control event. Out jogs Agarkar behind Aditya Tare, itching to get out and get some cricket. Shahdab Nazar to bowl the first ball. Suraj Yadav still injured"

12.05pm - No declaration Mumbai haven't declared, and I can see why. They still have to look at it as five sessions remaining. No harm having a bit of a hit. If they find out that the moisture has done enough damage to the pitch, they can declare soon

11.55am Ranji Trophy Live is back, baby. And it is back to report on the second semi-final. Saurashtra are already through to the final, but we have a bizarre situation where Mumbai and Services are waiting for the weather and the Palam Ground to let them play. We have had only 143 overs in four days and a session. Mumbai have scored 380 for 6, and if we don't have a first-innings result today, we are going into the sixth day.

The latest news from there is that we are starting at 12.10pm, and that we are hoping rather ambitiously to get 72 overs in. Not sure if Mumbai have already declared, but their bowlers and fielders are seen warming up

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Rags on (January 20, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

@Sid time to start talking about Services gaining the First Innings lead..Don't you think they have been wonderful..?

Posted by Priyanku on (January 20, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

mumbai captain has shown a better attitude n strategy making in makin 74runs in 9overs before declaring.dats how u plan in test cricket according to situation! not like dhoni who neither declares nor instructs his batsmen to score fast in so many such situation in d past!very poor test captainship from dhoni has led to our downfal in test cricket!

Posted by Sudhir on (January 20, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Mumbai should win easily from here.

Posted by Ishwar Tiwari on (January 20, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

Bhagwan services k sath hai,tabhi agarkar ne late inning declare ki,agar services all-out nahi hui to match ka decision toss par depend karega,,toss services he jitegi or final ke liye qualify bhi karegi,all the best services team,meri good wishes apke sath hai,by the way tanks sids for match infirmation

Posted by Sidharth on (January 20, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Considering spin bowling is a weak link in the Test team, why not give Ranji spinners a chance instead of the regulars?

Posted by Siddarth on (January 20, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

I am just imagining a situation where Mumbai win the final on a first innings lead... which would mean that they got through the whole ranji trophy campaign with just one outright win.... DISGRACE!!

Posted by Ankur on (January 20, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@Sid: I would like to see Saurashtra winning the Final and Jadeja(s), Pujara, Kotak & company in action against ROI.

Posted by jigs sakariya on (January 20, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

70-30 of mumbai chances to reach final,and on final pujara , jadeja missed out that will surely affected this time to 1st finalist i.e saurashtra...

Posted by Rags on (January 20, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

I started on the 90-91 Ranji finals last week..Why don't we start on the 2003 Irani, last time a full strength Mumbai team, played ROI..& Mumbai lost just because Zaheer was in the opposition then..!!!

Posted by Rags on (January 20, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

@Sid, those are what we want..However I can Guarantee that Selectors Will Pick Piyush Chawla..!!! Maybe even Bhajji..Will remind you when the team is picked

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