Mumbai v Saurashtra, Ranji semi-final, Chennai, 4th day January 7, 2009

Mumbai march into Ranji finals

Cricinfo staff

Mumbai 637 for 6 dec (Jaffer 301, Tendulkar 122, Rahane 85) and 42 for 1 drew with Saurashtra 379 (Kotak 89, Makvana 56*, Powar 4-108). Mumbai progress on basis of first-innings lead
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Ramesh Powar cleaned up the tail to take Mumbai to the finals © K Sivaraman

Ramesh Powar and Dhawal Kulkarni shared the five remaining Saurashtra wickets to clinch Mumbai's place in the final of the Ranji Trophy on the basis of a first-innings lead. Kulkarni took two wickets in an over early in the day but Kamlesh Makvana and Rakesh Dhurv kept Saurashtra's slim chances alive with a battling partnership. Offspinner Powar polished off the tail to ensure Saurashtra's campaign ended in the semi-finals for the second season in a row.

Kulkarni's impressive debut season continued when he got rid of the Saurashtra captain Jaydev Shah, the last specialist batsman, in the day's third over. Shah chased a wide delivery outside off and ended up slicing a catch to backward point. Three balls later, Kulkarni had Sagar Jogiyani nicking a delivery that straightened after pitching outside off to third slip and Saurashtra were reduced to 256 for 7.

Just when it seemed like Mumbai would run through the tail, Makvana, who made his second first-class half-century, and Dhurv stitched together a 103-run stand to keep Saurashtra fighting. Makvana was particularly gutsy, taking several blows on the body during a barrage of bouncers from Ajit Agarkar. With two leg slips, and a short leg, Agarkar peppered Makvana (first-class average of 12.70) with short balls from both over and round the wicket, but the batsman survived, weaving his way out of a few and clipping some towards square-leg.

At the other end, Dhurv was more comfortable against spin than pace. He started off with a confident off-drive against Zaheer Khan, but was fortunate to survive several streaky shots past the slip cordon. Dhurv carted the shorter deliveries from Powar to the boundary and watchfully defended the better ones.

Dhurv and Makvana fought through the first session but Powar's post-lunch spell finished off Saurashtra. Dhurv was the first to go, in the second over of the second session, trapped lbw for 44. Sandeep Jobanputra slammed a couple of eye-catching boundaries off Zaheer but an attempted sweep off Powar landed in the hands of first slip soon after. The final wicket wasn't long in coming: Balkrishna Jadeja was caught behind to virtually signal the end of Saurashtra's campaign.

Mumbai opted against enforcing the follow-on and Rohit Sharma and Amol Muzumdar, two batsmen who spent little time at the crease in the first innings, helped themselves to some batting practice before play was called off due to bad light.

Saurashtra were on the backfoot right through the match after losing the toss. The batting might of Mumbai, made even more formidable by the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, ran up a mammoth total and with Saurashtra's batting stars failing to make an impact, there was little chance of Saurashtra making the title clash.