Railways seal quarter-final berth
With most of the quarter-final spots decided on the third day itself, it was a fairly insipid fourth day in the last round of the Ranji Trophy. Railways reached the knockout phase for the first time in six seasons after completing an easy win over Bengal. Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are familiar names in the quarter-final line-up, while Haryana repeated last year's success and reached the knockout phase. Baroda are in the next round as well, for the first time since they reached the semi-finals in 2007-08. Uttar Pradesh have been the major disappointments of the season, failing to get out of the group phase for the first time in four years, while Saurashtra, who reached the semi-finals in 2007-08 and 2008-09, barely escaped relegation. Assam and Himcahal Pradesh will be plying their trade in the Plate League next season.
Railways completed a miserable Ranji Trophy season for Bengal with a victory by an innings and 10 runs at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. The hosts needed less than an hour to wrap up proceedings, with the last four batsmen failing to score. Three of them perished in similar fashion, edging the ball to the keeper off Jai P Yadav, who finished with 5 for 20, as Bengal crumbled to 134 all out. The win earns Railways, who finished second in Group A behind Mumbai, a trip to Baroda for a quarter-final encounter.
Having made sure of a place in the quarters, Tamil Nadu declared on 240 for 6 against Gujarat, who then limped to 115 for 4 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. S Badrinath led the hosts with 84, while legspinner Salil Yadav had enough time to claim 4 for 96. Tamil Nadu will now take on Haryana in Lahli for a place in the semi-finals. Badrinath's innings took him to the top of the season's run charts.
A strong rearguard action rescued Delhi from 69 for 5 against Mumbai at the Roshanara Club Ground in New Delhi, and took them to 242 for 6, but it was an academic exercise as they had already been eliminated from the tournament. Delhi dismissed the remaining two Mumbai batsmen for the addition of just six runs to their overnight total, but were never in with a chance as they had to chase over 550 to win the game. Aavishkar Salvi did the early damage for Mumbai, taking two wickets, and it took a 106-run seventh-wicket partnership between Sumit Narwal, who raced to an unbeaten 79 from 72 balls, with nine fours and four sixes, and Rajat Batra, who ground out a patient 57 from 147 balls, to make sure Delhi ended their season with at least a draw. Mumbai move on to play Rajasthan, who progressed from the Plate League, in Jaipur.
Having already sealed Uttar Pradesh's fate on the third day, Karnataka got in some useful batting practice on the last day at Green Park in Kanpur. Stuart Binny continued his batting form, getting his second century in three matches, as Karnataka finished the day on 537 for 4. He was supported by Ganesh Satish who made 100 not out. Binny's 127 off 157 balls took him to 331 runs for the season in three games at 66.20. Satish's century was his first of the season. Karnataka will travel to Indore next to play Madhya Pradesh in the quarter-finals.