January 21, 2013

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, SF

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Semi-finals, Day 6

Sidharth Monga

Mumbai (toss) 454 for 8 decl. (Agarkar 145, Tare 120) drew with Services 240 (Swain 74, Yashpal 58, Kulkarni 5-33) in Delhi

(Mumbai progress to the final on the basis of the first-innings lead, and will host Saurashtra in the final that begins on January 26)

12.05pm So that's all folks. This was a slippery banana peel for Mumbai, what with weather and poor ground conditions taking the match into the sixth day and the toss becoming a possibility. Not to forget they were 23 for 3 on the first day. Anyway, they have come back and finished it off with two sessions still to go. We don't know which ground in Mumbai the final will be played at, but we will bring you the ball-by-ball commentary and reports and features from there. Hoping Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma are released for the final, we take your leave. Cheers

11.59am Just waiting to make sure they don't surreally continue to pay. Stumps have been taken out, a lot of applause has happened, the match referee has given the teams a talk. I am sure they won't play any more

11.55am - All over Kulkarni takes a fifth wicket. Sinha caught at the wicket. Mumbai are through. Services bowled out for 240

11.44pm - We will have an extension Kulkarni gets Shadab Nazar in the last over before the scheduled lunch. Caught at short midwicket. Services 235 for 9

11.37am - Lunch, extensions and all that Eight minutes to go to lunch, and Mumbai need two wickets. My understanding is that if Mumbai take one more wicket in these eight minutes, we will get a half-hour extension

11.34am - And Yadav is gone The injured Suraj Yadav is gone too. Caught at the wicket off the bowling of Dhawal Kulkarni. Now only formalities remain. Mumbai two wickets from their 44th Ranji final. They have lost only four of the previous 43. Services 230 for 8 now

11.27am Mumbai have another. Sarabjit takes one risk too many and edges Thakur through to the wicketkeeper. Services are 227 for 7 now, and we are into the fourth over with the second new ball. And the injured Suraj Yadav has come out to bat. Last show of courage from Services

11.25am Services have begin to attack the new ball a bit with Sarabjit Singh cutting Thakur for four, and then getting another four through the slip cordon. Services 227 for 6 now, which is exactly half that of Mumbai's total

11.20am - Pujara and Rohit ought to be released Without second thoughts, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara should be released for the Ranji final. They are not getting a game in the ODI series anyway. Manoj Tiwary is fit now. They can fly him in as back-up for the ODI. I can understand Ravindra Jadeja is an important part of the XI now and he can't be released, but Pujara and Rohit should not be made to carry drinks when they can instead be helping their side win the Ranji Trophy

Yomesh and others, DY Patil is busy too

11.10am - New ball taken Mumbai have taken the new ball after 83 overs. Services 216 for 6

10.55am - The next question Should Mumbai successfully wrap this up, the next question is, where will the final be played? Wankhede is scheduled at the moment to host Women's World Cup matches on Jan 31, Feb 1 and Feb 2, which makes it all but impossible to play the final there. Mumbai could, and should, go to Brabourne, whose first World Cup match is on Feb 3

10.40am Mumbai almost there now. Paliwal gone too. Plays Kulkarni on to this stumps. Services 203 for 6

10.30am First drinks break of the day. Services 196 for 5 - 22 balls since the fall of Swain's wicket and only a single taken

10.15am And the bowling change has worked. Dabholkar gets Swain in the second over of his spell. Caught at slip playing off the back foot. A long slow dejected walk back for Swain. Now only Paliwal stands between Mumbai and a home final. Services 195 for 5

10.10am Shardul Thakur has been replaced after his morning spell of five overs, and the left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar has come on to bowl. Services 191 for 4

9.55am - Breakthrough for Mumbai Mumbai' Shardul Thakur has ended the 114-run stand between Swain and Yashpal, having the latter caught at the wicket. Mumbai inch ahead now

9.30am - Yashpal off the bocks Yashpal doing all the scoring on the final morning as Swain takes him time to get his eye in. Yashpal has reached his fifty, and brought up the hundred for this partnership. Services 176 for 3, need another 273

9.15am Ajit Agarkar has begun the proceedings, and Services' chase is underway. If all goes right, we can get 98 overs in, but I don't think we need as many. One of the sides will attain the lead before that long

9.10am - Good news. It's cold but sunny in Delhi. We might get a start on time, which reduces chances of the toss coming into the picture. Welcome to to day 6. If nothing goes wrong in the next five minutes, we should be ready to go at 9.15am

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Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Anonymous on (January 21, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

WHAT A SEMI FINAL RANAJI TROPHY MATCH.RIGHT FROM GROUND SELECTION THE MATCH WAS IN DOLDRUM.FURTHER THE WEATHER PLAYED ITS PART IN THE MATCH PULLING THE MATCH TO6TH UNIQUE DAY.HOWEVER BETTER TEAM HAS WON FINALLY MAKING WAY FOR INTERESTING FINAL AND CHANCE TO SACHIN.S MUMBAI TEAM TO GIVE RANAJI WIN FOR THE MUMBAI HERO.IT WILL BE FITTING TRIBUTE TO MAESTRO.HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE MATCH WII DEFINITELY BOOST MUMBAI TEAM SPIRIT AND WILL GUIDE THE MUMBAI TEAM AFTER GAP OF 3-4 YEARS TO LAY HAND ON THE COVETED TROPHY.

Posted by Sagar on (January 21, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

As of now Rohit Sharma in Test cricket is more important for Team India rather than Rohit Sharma in ODI, who knows a good performance in Ranji finals may open space for him in test team

Posted by SSSantosh on (January 21, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Why didn't Mumbai enforce the follow-on and go for innings win rather than be happy with the first innings lead. Or is the sixth day like a golden goal in hockey, the moment you get the lead, the game ends. Anyhow, Mumbai would be happy that a nightmare-like experience is over for them. They would be itching to catch the first flight to Mumbai, by walking a few steps across to the domestic airport. Indigo is scheduled in an hour or so.

Posted by Raj on (January 21, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

Teams may come and teams may go, but Mumbai "goes on for ever".

With Ajit as the skipper, no way Service stood a chance. The only hope they hadwas the weather playing spoilsport. But, HE knows better

Posted by Rags on (January 21, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

@Sid, couldn't agree more with your headline..It was indeed a banana peel..!! Thanks a lot to you and your team for a brilliant coverage..Now looking forward to an encore for hopefully a thrilling final..!

Posted by Umesh on (January 21, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Happy to see Mumbai peaking at right time this season. Below par for most of the season (by Mumbai standards) but stepping up in every match since MP game in Indore. It's going to be one heck of a final I guess with Saurashtra too in good form.

Posted by kedar on (January 21, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

will play continue after services get all out or will have to play till end of the day?

Posted by Sanjay Shamkuwar on (January 21, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

If Services were in Group A or Group B I am sure they would not have finished in top three and would not have qualified for knock outs. It is one thing to create an odd upset and totally different to consistently perform against 8 good teams to reach top three. I am still not sure about this Ranji format in which two teams are selected from eight weakest teams (Group C teams). A better format would be top four teams should qualify for knock outs from Group A and B and two top teams from Group C should be promoted to Group A and B replacing the bottom teams of both the Groups. Over to Saurav Ganguly who was head of the committee that created this format.

Posted by Gaurang Nemlekar on (January 21, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

MumBHAI!!!! 44th Ranji Final...Wattta team...39 times champions..phew!!! its like Bradmans avg of 99 and Sachin's Hundred 100's...They were on brink of elimination in the league stages and now on verge of final...Is it the greatest domestic team all over the world??

Posted by SK Anand on (January 21, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

Dhawal Kulkarni was in the side that toured New Zealand,and then he was left out. He is a good prospect and should be taken care off.

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