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Sidharth Monga and Siddhartha Talya
January 1, 2013
Jharkhand 120 (Suraj Yadav 6-43) and 219 for 5 (Nemat 86, Verma 72) beat Services 185 (Chatarjee 97, Ajay Yadav 5-30) and 152 (Ajay Yadav 6-43) by five wickets
Jharkhand produced a stunning turnaround in the fourth innings to put up the highest total among the four innings of the match, and progressed to quarter-finals. Chasing 218, openers Rameez Nemat and Akash Verma added 151 for the first wicket, which was 31 more than what the whole team managed in the first innings.
That partnership took just 37 overs. Time was just as important after fog had robbed them of three hours of play on the final day. It didn't come easy for Jharkhand. There was a mini collapse that took them from 181 for 1 to 210 for 5, but Ishank Jaggi saw them through. Jaggi's role was important because the injured Saurabh Tiwary couldn't have batted any higher than No. 7.
Services might have lost but topped the group. For Jharkhand, though, nervous hours followed the match as Kerala went for a daring chase in Cuddapah, but ran out of time. Jharkhand will play Punjab in Jamshedpur in the quarter-final.
Andhra 329 (Muzumdar 146, Sahabuddin 49) and 191 (CP Shahid 5-52) drew with Kerala 312 (Samson 122, Jagadeesh 117, Vijaykumar 4-77, Atchuta Rao 4-78) and 192 for 4 (Jagadeesh 70, Samson 51)
In curious circumstances, an eventful day in Cuddapah ended without a finale.
The day began with Andhra in ascendency - both in this match and quarter-finals stakes, but as news poured in that Jharkhand were winning their match, it was clear only an outright win could send a team from Cuddapah into the quarters.
Andhra, though, didn't risk losing out on the three points they had secured, and batted on until they were bowled out for 191, leaving Kerala an improbable target of 209 in 25 overs.
Strange scenes followed. Kerala opened the innings with Sreesanth, who fell for seven off 14 balls. Kerala were not serious about the chase to begin with. They even offered to call it off early, but now Andhra wanted to take the chance. They attacked and runs flowed, and now Kerala had a chance to win outright.
VA Jagadeesh and Sanju Samson, centurions from the first innings, kept going after the target. The match went into overtime, but light stayed good. Kerala kept in trying despite Samson's loss, and came to a point where they needed 17 off the last over.
Kerala had gone at eight an over until then, and it was not impossible to score 17 runs in the final over. It was 5.35pm then, and light had gone bad. The umpires took the reading on the light metre, and told Andhra they couldn't bowl a fast bowler. Andhra refused to bowl a slower bowler, and the match had to end in a draw.
Had Kerala won the match somehow, they would have been level with Jharkhand on points, outright wins, and possibly slightly higher on the run quotient. However, it wasn't to be.
Incidentally, this was not the first time that a captain had refused to bowl slower bowlers in this match. On the first day, with Andhra captain Amol Muzumdar on 99, Kerala insisted on bowling their quicks in fading light, which brought an early end to the day's play.
In the end, both teams were disappointed. Andhra were level with Jharkhand but missed out because of fewer outright wins. They can argue that this shows they were the more consistent side, but given that the teams knew the playing conditions beforehand this shouldn't go beyond an argument. Kerala can argue they didn't get their last over, but they weren't the most urgent side themselves.
Goa 381 (Desai 105, Kamat 70, Pinto 61, Arup Das 5-83) and 241 for 4 (Pinto 62, Syed Mohammad 3-63) drew with Assam 366 (Sibsankar Roy 87, Pallavkumar Das 70)
This game was over for all practical purposes once Assam, the only contender for the next round out of these two teams, failed to take the first-innings lead. The fourth day was as good as batting practice, and Goa had plenty of it.
Tripura 355 for 8 decl. (Ratra 103*) drew with Jammu & Kashmir 47 for 1
The highlight of this weather-affected match was former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra's century for Tripura. Otherwise, there was not enough time to force even a first-innings result. Both the teams were out of contention anyway.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
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