Saurashtra v Punjab, Ranji Trophy 2012-13 semi-final, 5th day January 20, 2013

Saurashtra spin into first final since 1937-38


Saurashtra 477 (Jackson 107, Shah 87, Makvana 85) and 170 (Kotak 53, Harbhajan 4-60, Kaul 3-53) beat Punjab 299 (Ravi Inder 74, Joshi 4-59) and 119 (Joshi 5-43) by 229 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Saurashtra spun their way into their first Ranji Trophy final since 1937-38, in the process making a mockery of the outside chance Punjab gave themselves by bowling the hosts out for 170 on the fourth day. Punjab began the day needing 304 runs with eight wickets in hand, but couldn't even last one session against the spin combine of Vishal Joshi and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Joshi, playing his sixth first-class match, completed his first five-for when he bowled the last man Sandeep Sharma with a legbreak.

That was perhaps the only time when Joshi deviated from his policy of bowling flighted offbreaks that he ripped in from the rough outside the right-hand batsmen's off stump. It was evident Joshi imparted more revolutions on the ball than any other bowler on display, and he drew maximum results.

Joshi came on to bowl when the overnight batsmen Ravin Inder Singh and Mandeep Singh had made a confident resumption against the medium-pacers. Against Joshi, though, it wasn't that easy. Mandeep looked to pad away one wide delivery, misjudged the line and stretched too far. The ball spun back in sharply, and snuck under the knee to rip the middle stump out. An almighty collapse followed.

Ravi Inder didn't like being tied down and soon stepped out, and sliced an offbreak to cover. He wanted to go over mid-off, but the dip and the turn took it squarer. Punjab's two bits-and-pieces players, Amitoze Singh and Bipul Sharma, stood no chance and fell to ugly shots to take it from 71 for 2 to 91 for 6.

Uday Kaul, whose suicidal run-out had begun the first-innings collapse, was all at sea, and soon fell lbw playing back to a length ball from Jadeja. His brother, Siddarth, who has impressed observers with his bowling, stood no chance either, providing a mirror image of that lbw. Harbhajan Singh tried to slog but was bowled through the gate.

Sandeep Sharma and Sarabjit Ladda delayed the celebrations with a 17-run stand, but the workman offspinner Joshi produced a bit of flash by bowling a legbreak that pitched leg and hit the top of off to end the match.

The last time this region made it to the final it went around by the name of Nawanagar. Saurashtra have been consistent performers of late, but this is the first time they have broken the semi-final jinx, and they have done this without the services of their star players, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sreejith on January 21, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @ agarkarno1 Author mentioned Ranji runs..Badri scored 8238 runs includinjg Ranji, Duleep trophy and Irani trophy. So here the stats are 100% right.

  • Patturaja on January 21, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    wrong stats. Kotak hasnt even scored 8000 ranji runs,but badrinath has more runs without a title

  • Venkat on January 21, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    I cannot understand this confusion. There should be one state team and one team representing it. There is Mumbai-Maharashtra, Hyderabad-Andhra Pradesh etc... I dont think there is any state called Saurashtra in India. Players from those states get undue advantage.

  • Ashok on January 20, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Congats Saurashtra, following the footsteps of Jamsheb of Nawanagar- Ranji, Duleep & Mankad. Now I only wish the Indian Selectors & Dhoni release Pujara, who is wasting his life warming the Bench to satisfy the childish glee of Dhoni. If the Selectors & Dhoni have any common sense & vision for Indian Team development, they should let the guys play in XI where ever it may be. I am sure Pujara would much rather play for his home state as a Hero rather than be benched by MSD!. Pujara is far better bat than any of Dhoni's top 5 in the line up. He has nothing to prove after averaging 87 against an England bowling at full strength! Present England ODI is without Anderson, Swann & Panesar their main bowlers.It is Dhoni's way of humiliating Pujara, for unknown political reasons! Even Rahane & Rohit Sharma could have been released to Play for Mumbai & let Dhawan open for India & let someone else take Rohit's Bench seat.MSD has no right to ruin the careers of Talented youngsters as he has been!

  • Devvrat on January 20, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Very happy for Saurashtra.. Their efforts have paid off after successive semi-final appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Not too forget they were the One Day champs for 2007-08 season. Like Dhoni put Ranchi on the Cricket map on Saturday these boys have brought more laurels and recognition for the Saurashtra region after successful hosting of India-England ODI in Rajkot on Jan 11.

  • krishna on January 20, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    @sony_sr: Joshi flighted the ball very well and gave it a serious rip. He was the best spin bowler on display and worked well in tandem with Jadeja.But this is still early days for him in first class cricket and he needs to develop some kind of variation like a slider or a top spinner. In fact,all this match illustrated was the impatience and lack of skills among domestic batsmen to handle good spin bowling because they are used to facing mediocre spinners who bowl long hops every over.

  • Sony on January 20, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Anyone have an idea about Vishal Joshi? How good is he? Aswin is looking like a club level bowler now a days. With aswin I doubt if we can win against aus. We either need to find a good offspinner from ranji trophy or go back to bhaji.

  • Subramani on January 20, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    It is very heartening to know that Saurashtra has made it to the finals. This is so because of the very hoary cricketing tradition of this part of the India on the cricketing map. Ranjiitsinghji, Duleepsinghji, Hanumant Singh and Vinoo Mankad all hailed from this part of the world. And now we have Cheteshwar Pujara,Ravindra Jadeja playing for India who also have their roots in the erstwhile Nawanagar state. I am almost sure that Vishal Joshi too will make it to the national squad considering that he is a fair bat as well. He has all the ingredients of an off spinner and even as I saw him play I could notice a similarity between him and Graeme Swann in his skills and the way he gets his wickets. It seems ridiculous that Pujara is being held back for the ODIs against England when he should have been playing. I hope he and Rohit are released to play in the finals because it is highly unlikely that Dhoni will make any changes if India win yet again in the 4th ODI barring injuries.

  • Sridhar on January 20, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    I feel Mumbai Vs Services tie would bed decided on spin of coin / and.. Services should go through to finals

  • sanjeev on January 20, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    @Dec_65 Ranji semis are not played on neutral basis...they are played on home and away services hosted mumbai this time because when services played mumbai last time,the match was played in this time saurashtra hosted punjab

  • No featured comments at the moment.