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February 12, 2006
Mumbai completed a comfortable 73-run win after a fine bowling performance dismissed Gujarat for 122 at the Motibaug Palace Ground in Baroda. Powered by three 30 plus scores from A Kadam (49), Hiken Shah (35) and Bhavin Thakkar (34) Mumbai reached 195 for 7. Aavishkar Salvi never allowed the run chase to hit the road, grabbing three top-order wickets to reduce Gujarat to 38 for 5. Hemal Watekar, batting at No 8, chipped in with 32 that lent some respectability to the Gujarat score but by then Mumbai had run away with the match.
Punjab routed Delhi by six wickets after VRV Singh and Gagandeep Singh rocked the top order to restrict the hosts to 193 for 9 at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. Singh picked 3 for 40 and Gagandeep Singh grabbed 2 for 18 to leave Delhi struggling at 14 for 4 before Manhas (54) and Rajat Bhatia (54) pulled the team out of trouble. Dinesh Mongia (97) and Reetinder Singh Sodhi (70) saw Punjab home in style. The visitors are now on eight points with two wins while Delhi have 5 points. The match was not without its share of off-field issues that had plagued Delhi cricket throughout the season with Aakash Chopra being made the captain in place of Mithun Manhas.
Hrishikesh Kanitkar's 48 and lower-order contributions propelled Maharashtra to victory against Saurashtra in a low-scoring encounter at Vadodara. Shitanshu Kotak came up with a patient 158-ball 73 but it was a breezy 70 from Rakesh Dhurv that lifted Saurashtra to a fighting 180 for 5 in the allotted overs. Kanitkar anchored the run chase and despite losing wickets regularly the lower order batsmen chipped in with small but vital contributions that enabled Maharashtra overhaul the target in 43.2 overs.
Yashpal Singh's 100 and Narender Kumar's five-wicket haul powered Services to a resounding 131-run win against Jammu & Kashmir at the Palam A Stadium in New Delhi. Narender Singh and Sarbajit Singh hit half-centuries to join in the run-fest with Yashpal to lift Services to a mammoth 304 for 6 in their allotted overs. For J&K Kavaljit Singh (42) put up a semblance of a fight but Narender Kumar, playing in his second match, removed four of the top five batsmen to leave J&K struggling at 71 for 5, a position from which they never recovered.
Centuries from Sumit Sharma and Sunny Singh helped Haryana amass 335 which proved too much for Himachal Pradesh to chase as Haryana won by 104-runs at the Harbax Singh Stadium in Delhi. The duo came together at 10 for 1 and added 182 runs before Sachin Rana hit a 19-ball 38 to set up a big target. For HP Sandeep Sharma put up a fight with a century but no other batsman crossed 25 as Haryana used eight bowlers to restrict HP to 231 for 8.
Shalabh Shrivastava's 53 and Ranjit Paradkar's unbeaten 46 pushed Vidarbha past the Rajasthan total in a low-scoring encounter at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Chasing 183 Vidarbha were a shaky 29 for 3 before recovering through Shrivastava. After Shrivastava's dismissal at 112 for 6 Paradkar steered his side to the target with a little bit of help from Madhusudan Acharya (20) and Rahul Jadhav (14). Samir Khare and Acharya shared seven wickets between them to dismiss Rajasthan for 182.
All the batsmen contributed as Madhya Pradesh romped home to a seven-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh after a fine bowling performance dismissed UP for 218 at the KL Saini Ground in Jaipur. R Prakash, the opener, hit 57 but Sanjay Pandey (3 for 39) hit the top order hard while Abbas Ali (3 for 37) cleaned up the tail to restrict UP. MP's run chase never derailed with the top four batsmen - Amay Khurasia, Devendra Bundela, Naman Ojha and Abbas Ali - turning in 40 plus scores to steer them home in 47.4 overs.
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