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January 11, 2006
Saurashtra have qualified for the Plate Group semi-finals following a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh on the third day's play at Rajkot. After Rahul Panta's 5 for 78 bowled out Saurashtra for 246 yesterday, Himachal had resumed the day on 97 for 3 - a lead of just 13 - but continued to lose their way in the face of a fine spell from Kanaiya Vaghela, who picked up his maiden five-wicket haul, and were dismissed for 157. Set just 74 to win, Saurashtra proceeded to secure a semi-final birth by knocking off the runs in less than 15 overs.
Earlier, Panta was assisted by Anju Thakur who, on his HP debut, picked up 4 for 65 with his legspinners. While no Saurashtra batsman crossed fifty in their first innings, decent contributions from Jaydev Shah, the captain, and Shitanshu Kotak saw their side to an 84-run lead on the second day.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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