Services, Railways through to quarter-finals
Services 286 for 9 (Paliwal 112, Yashpal 81) beat Vidarbha 283 for 6 (Shrivastava 84*, Urvesh 59) by one wicket
Services edged past Vidarbha by the narrowest of margins in the Vijay Hazare Trophy preliminary quarter-final, reaching the target of 284 off the last ball of the match in Kolkata with the last pair in the middle. Services had three wickets remaining going into the final over, but Shadab Nazar and Diwesh Pathania were run out off the third and fifth deliveries. Last man Abhishek Sakuja sealed the matter by hitting Umesh Yadav for a four through the covers.
Services' chase was constructed on the back of a 195-run fourth-wicket stand between Rajat Paliwal, the leading run-scorer of the tournament, and Yashpal Singh. The pair came together after Yadav and Shrikant Wagh had reduced Services to 29 for 3 in the tenth over. Paliwal was the aggressor, hitting 11 fours and a six in his 112 off 99 while Yashpal made 81 off 100. Paliwal had made an unbeaten 105 in Services' previous match, a 44-run win over Delhi.
Ravi Jangid, the left-arm spinner, brought Vidarbha back into the game, snaring both batsmen in the 42nd over. Services needed 59 off 49 now. Yadav and Wagh struck again, making it 248 for 7 in the 47th over. With 36 required off 22, Nazar came in and hit three fours in his 16 off 9. Avishek Sinha contributed an unbeaten 20 off 22 but Services threatened to implode on the brink of victory, before Sakuja pulled them through.
Sakuja had been the most successful Services bowler earlier with 2 for 43 from ten overs. Vidarbha posted 283 for 6 after choosing to bat, with the help of an unbeaten 84 from Shalabh Shrivastava and 59 from Urvesh Patel.
Services will take on Jharkhand in the quarter-final on Wednesday.
Railways 230 for 9 (Saini 46, Parmar 4-50) beat Baroda 137 (Irfan 38, Mishra 3-22) by 93 runs
A string of lower-order contributions set up an incisive display from the Railways seamers to knock Baroda out and progress into the quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Chanderpal Saini's 45 off 60, was the ballast that helped Railways up from 126 for 6 to post an eventually match-winning 230 on a green deck at the Eden Gardens.
With considerable assistance on offer, the trio of Amit Mishra (3-22), Krishnakant Upadhyay (2-29), and Anureet Singh (1-25) ensured no batsman felt set at the crease. There were numerous times the ball beat the outside edge offering encouragement to keep a steady line and length as the required run-rate rose.
Baroda's hopes rested on the Pathan brothers, who were joined at 45 for 4 in the 15th over. Their progress was cautious - 34 in 55 balls - but could not be sustained as Yusuf launched Karn Sharma seeking to clear long-on, but Upadhyay employed a well-judged leap to pocket a crucial catch on the edge of the rope. The equation had been 152 runs 159 balls then and called for more accumulation.
Irfan's vigil continued, making 38 off 73 balls, but was running out of partners and was none too pleased about it. When Jyot Chhaya skipped down the track and thumped one straight into the hands of the bowler Ashish Yadav, Irfan gave his partner a forlorn look and raised his hand, questioning his rush of blood. With 114 needed off 75 balls, Irfan perished seeking the big hit as well in the 38th over and Baroda were rolled over for 137.
Spin held sway in the afternoon as Vishwanath Parmar took 4 for 50 in his 11 overs to manage the Railways batsmen. Saini and Sharma (36 off 41) put together 64 runs for the seventh wicket as they ate up the allotment of overs to set up a total that proved sufficient to place them into a quarterfinal bout with Punjab on Wednesday.