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January 1, 2013
Railways 214 (Paunikar 50, Sarkar 4-62) and 314 for 9 decl. (Rawat 75*) beat Bengal 157 (Karan Sharma 4-22) and 249 (Anureet Singh 4-46)
Around noon, during their lunch break, Railways came to know Saurashtra had won their match. That meant Railways would not qualify for the knockouts even if they won. Around that time, Sanjay Bangar, one of the most respected domestic workhorses, made up his mind it was time to end his 20-year first-class career.
Bangar's team-mates were stunned at the decision, but they delivered him and Railways a consolatory win. One for the road. Or track, in the case of the team made up for Indian Railways' employees.
Bangar himself took two important wickets, those of opener Arindam Saha and captain Wriddhiman Saha. It went into the final session, though, and towards the end Anureet Singh began Bengal's final slide with the wicket of Debabrata Das, who scored 44 off 55.
Rajasthan 384 (Saxena 84, Menaria 63, Reddy 5-67) and 329 for 9 decl. (Saxena 146*) drew with Hyderabad 349 (Jhala 75*, Rituraj Singh 4-86) and 38 for 0
Rajasthan had taken the lead on the third day, sending Hyderabad into relegation, and day four was pretty academic. However, Vineet Saxena used the day well to sign off the season with an unbeaten 146.
Saurashtra 242 (Vasavada 54, Jackson 53, Makvana 51, Pandey 3-43) and 303 for 4 decl. (Pujara 203*, Vasavada 55, Pandey 3-51) beat Madhya Pradesh 135 (Joshi 3-17, Unadkat 3-20, Jadeja 3-51) and 183 (Saxena 75, Jadeja 6-51, Makvana 3-43) by 227 runs
Along with the paucity of quality spinners in India, probably as big an issue could be the inadequacy of domestic batsmen against good spin bowling. Madhya Pradesh provided the latest example of that, losing eight wickets for 45 runs in 22.1 overs to hand the remaining quarter-final spot in Group A to hosts Saurashtra. And it wasn't even an experienced slow bowler who did the damage. It was 22-year old debutant left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, bowling with a classical pivot, who ran through MP to finish with six wickets in the innings and nine in the match.
Mumbai aborted a chase of 135 off a minimum of 41 overs and instead settled for three points for the first innings lead against Gujarat in their last Ranji Trophy Group A game at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium.
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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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