RP Singh stars as UP trounce Sialkot
RP Singh demolished Sialkot, taking 4 for 25 in 9.5 overs as Uttar Pradesh romped home to a 316-run win to lift the Mohammad Nissar Trophy
RP Singh demolished Sialkot, taking 4 for 26 in 9.5 overs as Uttar Pradesh romped to a 316-run win to lift the Mohammad Nissar Trophy. Set an improbable 429 for victory, Sialkot crumbled to 112 for 7 just after lunch, and with Khalid Mahmood, Imran Nazir and Mohammad Asif all injured, the match ended in a comprehensive defeat for the visitors.
By delaying the declaration - it came in the third over of the day after Jyoti Yadav reached his fifty - UP, it was felt, might have hampered their chances of victory but a combination of a disciplined bowling performance, and lack of application and technique from the Sialkot batsmen meant that it was not to be.
RP Singh and Praveen Kumar knifed through Sialkot with an incisive opening spell that left the visitors hobbling at 36 for three before Shalabh Srivastava made further inroads with a two-wicket burst. RP Singh came back to hammer the final nail in Sialkot's coffin, triggering celebrations in the UP camp.
Adjusting his line admirably to the combination of left and right-hand batsmen, RP Singh repeatedly pinged the corridor outside the off stump to induce fatal shots. After swinging a few back in, he suddenly, took one away with the angle to dismiss Mansoor Amjad. Abdur Rehman, the left-hand batsman, was tempted into a drive with a full-length delivery that swung away. He returned for his second spell after lunch to take out the last hope of Sialkot - Shoaib Malik - and , off the very next delivery, cleaned up the last man Sarfraz Ahmed and that was that.
Praveen Kumar, while not so consistent with his line, teased the batsmen by swinging it both ways. He set the UP bandwagon rolling by taking out Shahid Yousuf with a sharp indipper in the eighth over. However, his lack of pace meant whenever he erred with either line or length he was punished. Majid Jehangir, who kept attacking despite the procession at the other end, carted him for three consecutive fours and when Kumar came back for his second spell, replacing Piyush Chawla, he lost the plot a bit by bowling one bouncer too many.
Shalabh Srivastava, the tall left-arm seamer with a high-arm action, replaced Kumar and ensured that there would be no respite for Sialkot. He prised out Jehangir with one that went away with the angle. Not being a natural swinger of the ball, he created angles by going round the wicket to harass the batsmen with bounce and movement. After the top order was dealt with, he hustled the middle order with a slew of short-pitched deliveries before slipping in a few full-length deliveries, hoping either for a nick or an lbw decision.
Sialkot, already besieged with injuries, could have done with some more discipline at the top. Lazy wafts of the bat with the feet stuck adhesively to the crease, greedy chases outside the off stump and the inability to read the length and move either forward or back led to their tame surrender.
Shahid Yousuf lbw b Kumar 5 (11 for 1)
Darted back in from outside the offstump, hit in front of middle and leg
Mansoor Amjad c Shamshad b Singh 0 (14 for 2)
Pushed at a delivery that was angled across, caught at second slip
Abdur Rehman c Amir b Singh 7 (36 for 3)
Drove loosely at a full delivery outside off and edged to the keeper
Majid Jahangir c Amir b Srivastava 27 (43 for 4)
Nicked one that slanted away
Tahir Mughal c Shukla b SJ Srivastava 24 (89 for 5)
Steered straight to second slip
Shoaib Malik c Amir b Singh 11 ( 112 for 6)
Edged a delivery angled across
Sarfraz Ahmed b Singh 0 (112 for 7)
Misses a wild slog
Sriram Veera is editorial assistant of Cricinfo