Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group B, final round, 2nd day December 31, 2013

Saurashtra win, but progress unlikely

ESPNcricinfo staff

Saurashtra 177 (Jackson 52, Yashpal 5-41) and 33 for 1 beat Services 72 (Makvana 6-17) and 135 (Gupta 85, Doshi 4-31) by nine wickets

Saurashtra achieved a comprehensive, nine-wicket win over Services in a little over four sessions, but the victory may not be enough to give them a spot in the knock-out. Saurashtra may be in line for the next round if there is no result in the match between Tamil Nadu and Bengal.

For Services, the loss has pushed them once again to Group C. In 2012-13, Services had topped Group C and made it to the semi-finals, which boosted their promotion to Group B, but they have failed to win a single game this season, losing four of the eight games and drawing the rest.

Saurashtra came in to the game needing a bonus-point win to keep their hopes of qualification alive, but their chances of bagging seven points were dashed by the loss of the opener Chirag Pathak when the team was just six runs short of the 31-run target.

On the second morning, the Saurashtra innings lasted just three balls before Jaydev Unadkat became Rajat Paliwal's fourth victim. After being shot out for 72 on the first day, Services didn't fare much better in their second innings either, mustering just 135. Anshul Gupta was the only Services batsman to offer any resistance, scoring 85 off 122 balls with eight fours and a six. His team-mates, however, succumbed once again to the Saurashtra spinners. Nayan Doshi took 4 for 31, while Kamlesh Makvana and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja finished with three wickets each.

Saurashtra eased past the target in a little more than six overs, but they will be left ruing the fall of Pathak's wicket which denied them the seven points.

Sarabjit Singh, the veteran Services wicketkeeper-batsman, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after the match. Sarabjit, 39, played 91 first-class games and 72 List A games in a career spanning two decades.

Tamil Nadu 85 and 102 for 1 (Karthik 56*) need 83 runs to beat Bengal 130 and 139 (Shukla 46, Rahil Shah 6-64)

Tamil Nadu kept their chances of progressing to the knock-outs alive, finishing the second day 83 runs adrift of a victory over Bengal in Chennai, after being set a target of 185. Beginning the game on 18 points, both Tamil Nadu and Bengal need an outright victory to stay in contention for the next round.

Tamil Nadu started the second morning at 66 for 6 and quickly folded for 85, offspinner Arnab Nandi picking up three of the last four wickets to fall. Left-arm spinner Rahil Shah (6 for 64) and offspinner Malolan Rangarajan (4 for 48) then brought TN back into the game scuttling Bengal for 139. A 58-run, fifth-wicket stand between Laxmi Shukla and Sudip Chatterjee was the only bright spark for Bengal, with Shukla in particular playing a belligerent 25-ball 46. Once he was out, however, Chatterjee failed to find partners.

TN openers Dinesh Karthik and Abhinav Mukund shared a stand of 72, before the latter was dismissed by Writtick Chatterjee. Karthik finished unbeaten on 56 off 109 balls.

The second day's play between Uttar Pradesh and Railways in Lucknow was abandoned to bad light and rain.

Read the full report of Rajasthan v Baroda here: Rajasthan top order frustrates Baroda