December 11, 2000

Railways qualify for Wills Trophy despite Rajasthan victory

Rajasthan scored an eight run win over Uttar Pradesh in their Central Zone Ranji OD encounter and yet could not qualify for the Wills Trophy. Tied at the top of the points table with Railways on six points, the Rajasthan side lost out. This was due to the fact that Railways beat Rajasthan in their encounter earlier. On winning the toss, Rajasthan led by National Cricket Academy ward Nikhil Doru managed to get off to a good start. Doru (53) forged a useful 119 run partnership with AS Jain for the first wicket. Jain went on to make a solid 88 (125 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) despite the fact that none of the other Rajasthan batsmen made decent scores.

In response, Uttar Pradesh fell short by eight runs even as left arm spinner Anup Dave claimed 3/29. None of the batsmen could stand up to the Rajasthan bowling other than Mohammed Kaif. Having played with Dave in the Under-19 World Cup, Kaif seemed to cope better than the others. The India hopeful made 58. Rizwan Shamshad made 38, but UP could manage only 219 before they were all out in 49.3 overs.