April 29, 2003

Tamil Nadu in final after convincing win over Delhi

Staff Reporter

Medium-pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji claimed five wickets to propel Tamil Nadu to a convincing 132-run win over hosts Delhi in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group semi-final that ended at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu now take on Mumbai in the Ranji final to be played at Mumbai from May 4.

It did not take long for the outcome of the match to be settled after play resumed on Tuesday. In Balaji's third over, he castled Virender Sehwag (98 not out overnight) with an excellent off-cutter. Sehwag was stranded on 99.

With their star batsman back in the pavilion, Delhi's challenge quickly fizzled out. The remaining four batsmen lasted just 13 more overs as the hosts folded up after the addition of just 41 runs to their overnight total.

Tamil Nadu captain S Suresh expressed his happiness with his team's performance in his post-match interview with the Press Trust of India.

"We played really well and everybody contributed in the win. It was indeed a fine show by the players as it is not easy to beat Delhi on their home soil, " Suresh said.

"Balaji again proved that he is a class bowler. He has bowled beautifully throughout the season and no doubt his performance in the semi-final played a significant role in our victory," he added, while thanking his main strike bowler for his match-winning display.