Ranji one-day tournament 2008-09, Semi-finals March 6, 2009

Bengal and Tamil Nadu win low-scoring ties

Cricinfo staff

The following is the summary of the semi-final matches in the Ranji one-day tournament


Rajesh Pawar's all-round performance wasn't enough to prevent a Bengal victory © Cricinfo Ltd

Tidy bowling in defence of a small total helped Bengal beat Baroda at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium and move into the final of this season's Ranji one-day tournament. Bengal, who opted to bat, only made 227 but their medium-pacers turned in an efficient display to seal victory by 81 runs.

Bengal lost Wriddhiman Saha early but put together steady partnerships. Shreevats Goswami (41), Manoj Tiwary (49) and Laxmi Shukla (49) were the main contributors. Bengal were well placed at 165 for 3 in the 37th over but lost Tiwary and Debabrata Das in consecutive deliveries and could only manage another 62. Rajesh Pawar, the slow left-arm spinner, had the best figures of 3 for 59.

But Baroda's chase never got off. Ranadeb Bose bowled Kedar Hemant Devdhar first ball and sent back Azharuddin Bilakhia for 7 soon after. Shukla bowled very impressively, taking out three Baroda batsmen in an economical spell; at 76 for 8 it was only one-way traffic. Pawar's 43 from 46 balls was the highest score of the innings as Baroda were bowled out 146 in 40.2 overs.

Bengal's opponents in the final will be Tamil Nadu, who scrapped their way to a 35-run win over Uttar Pradesh at the Polytechnic Institute Ground. It was a match dominated by the bowlers - 20 wickets fell and only two batsmen made more than 27.

Tamil Nadu were in serious trouble after choosing to bat first; medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar ripped through their top-order, taking three early wickets to leave them at 24 for 4. Things got worse for Tamil Nadu when Imtiyaz Ahmed bowled S Vidyut for 19, but they were rescued by the innings of the day from No. 6 Suresh Kumar. He made a 132-ball 94, with 10 fours and two sixes, to lift Tamil Nadu to a competitive 197. There wasn't too much support from the rest, except for an unbeaten 27 from C Ganapathy.

The Uttar Pradesh innings followed a similar pattern to that of Tamil Nadu - their top-order also collapsed with medium-pacers R Suthesh and Yo Mahesh combining to reduce Uttar Pradesh to 66 for 5. Ravikant Shukla tried to play the sort of innings that Suresh had, but ran out of partners by the time he reached 56 with UP folding for 162. Fittingly, it was Suresh who finished off the UP innings with two wickets in four balls.

The final will be at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium on Monday.