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December 17, 2010
Haryana stormed into the quarter-finals with a seven-wicket win against Orissa in Rohtak. With Uttar Pradesh conceding the lead to Karnataka, Haryana are assured of finishing third in the group. Haryana needed five wickets, and Orissa's lower order resisted for more than 30 overs before being bowled out for 170. Subhrajit Sahoo (50) and Biplab Samantray (31) delayed the inevitable in the morning before both fell to Haryana captain and India legspinner Amit Mishra, who finished with 3 for 49. Nitin Saini led the chase of 144 with a half-century while Ankit Rawat polished off the remaining runs with an unbeaten 34.
Yusuf Pathan took six wickets as Baroda thrashed Himachal Pradesh by an innings at the Moti Bagh Stadium to move into the knockouts. Resuming 123 runs behind, the only question was whether Himachal would be able to avoid the innings defeat, and they fell short of making Baroda bat again by 17 runs. It was Yusuf who hastened the end, picking up five of the six remaining wickets. He got the breakthrough after Varun Sharma and Vinit Indulkar had a decent partnership going, sending back Varun for 43. Nine runs later, he caught and bowled Indulkar. He then ran through the lower order to end with his tenth first-class five-wicket haul, as Himachal were dismissed for 214. They will play in the Plate League next season after finishing last in the group.
Piyush Chawla's highest first-class score wasn't enough to prevent Uttar Pradesh from conceding a substantial first-innings lead to Karnataka in Kanpur, and with Haryana beating Orissa, it effectively ended UP's chances of making the quarter-finals. Chawla and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had rescued UP from the depths of 90 for 5, but the remaining deficit of 253 was always going to be difficult to bridge. And when Bhuvneshwar fell for 62 with more than 200 still required, it was all but over for UP. Chawla continued to play his strokes but was dismissed by Amit Verma after hitting 18 fours and a six in his 104, his second first-class hundred. The lower order resisted gamely, but Karnataka proved too strong for them, and UP were eventually restricted to 319, a deficit of 97. Robin Uthappa and KB Pawan hit half-centuries as Karnataka breezed to 178 for 2 at stumps.
Defending champions Mumbai have effectively ended Delhi's chances of going through to the quarter-finals after scoring 413 runs on the third day at the Roshanara Club Ground, giving them a lead of 553. The hosts needed an outright win to progress, and had the visitors tottering on 169 for 5, but a free-flowing 148 from Rohit Sharma changed the complexion of the game and carried Mumbai to 487 for 8. Rohit struck 15 fours and four sixes in his 154-ball knock, and added a mammoth 291 with Prashant Naik for the sixth wicket. Both men fell to seamer Pradeep Sangwan, who had Rohit caught before bowling Naik for 81. Ajit Agarkar went soon, but Iqbal Abdulla made sure there was to be no let up for Delhi, racing to 73 from 69 balls, with 11 fours and a six. Abdulla put on an unbeaten 102 with Mun Mangela for the ninth wicket as the Delhi bowlers wilted, with no sign of a declaration from Mumbai.
Railways are on the brink of an unexpected place in the knockouts, after their bowlers reduced Bengal to 105 for 6 in their second innings at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Both sides needed a win to have any chance of going through, and having taken a 144-run first-innings lead on the back of an unbeaten 81 from Dhiran Salvi - who batted for almost four hours and held the lower order together - Railways' bowlers wasted no time in putting Bengal under the cosh. JP Yadav removed the openers with 22 on the board, and Murali Kartik removed the dangerous Manoj Tiwary cheaply. Sourav Ganguly, who is playing the game as a tune-up for the IPL, fell for his second low score of the match, falling again to Anureet Singh, to leave the visitors on 72 for 4. Kartik and fellow left-arm spinner Nileshkumar Chauhan claimed two more wickets to leave Bengal needing another 39 to make Railways bat again.
Saurashtra avoided relegation in emphatic fashion in Rajkot, as Kamlesh Makvana took a career-best 6 for 22 to send Assam packing to the Plate League. Set a target of 249, Assam crumbled to 76 as offspinner Makvana and India allrounder Ravindra Jadeja took nine wickets between them. After seamer Saurya Sanandiya had bowled Dheeraj Jadhav with the first delivery of the chase, the spinners took over as Assam could not last for even two hours. S Sriram's 24 was the highest score in a sorry batting performance that included five ducks. Makvana and Jadeja took 18 of the 20 Assam wickets in the game.
Rain washed out play in Chennai with Tamil Nadu needing another 16 runs with seven wickets in hand to take the lead against Gujarat and book their place in the quarter-finals. However, even if the game is rained out on the final day tomorrow, Tamil Nadu should be able to qualify.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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