Saurashtra v Madhya Pradesh, Ranji Trophy semi-final, Rajkot, 5th day January 29, 2006

Saurashtra enter Plate group final

Cricinfo staff

Saurashtra 296 and 416 (Kotak 55, Jobanputra 48) drew with Madhya Pradesh 275 and 261 for 5 (Ojha 80, Bundela 59)

Saurashtra have entered the Ranji Plate final, courtesy their 21-run first-innings lead, as their semi-final encounter against Madhya Pradesh ended in a draw at Rajkot. Set a huge target of 438, Madhya Pradesh reached 261 for 5 in the 43 overs possible before stumps on the fifth and final day. Saurashtra, having resumed today on 327 for 8, extended MP's agony through an 88-run partnership between Sandeep Jobanputra and Shitanshu Kotak.

Naman Ojha starred for MP with a fine 68-ball 80, putting on an opening stand of 72 with Sachin Dholpure (33). Devendra Bundela, the leading run-getter for MP this season with a run-tally of 498 prior to this match at 71.14, hit a breezy 59 and added 84 runs with B Tomar but it was, in the event, a meaningless effort. Bundela would probably rue his first-innings duck, for a few runs from his blade would have propelled MP to a vital first-innings lead.

Saurashtra will now face Ajay Jadeja-led Rajasthan in what promises to be a tough final on February 2.