In a major setback for Uttar Pradesh, pace bowler RP Singh is likely to miss the rest of their quarter-final against Karnataka. RP pulled up in his run-up in the third over after lunch (his second), stopping on the verge of delivering the ball. He had a quiet word with umpire Amesh Saheba, threw the ball to his team-mate Piyush Chawla and walked off. According to the team management, RP informed them that he had pulled his hamstring.
Earlier in the over RP had walked gingerly back to his bowling mark. With his last ball before he walked off, RP had bowled a short delivery that Robin Uthappa had pulled into the hands of Amit Mishra at deep square leg. However, even before the catch could be completed, Saheba had called it a no-ball, RP having crossed the line. RP had shrugged in disgust.
Uthappa, who was on 58 then and managed to reach his century later, confirmed that he had spoken to RP, who told him he would not be playing the rest of the match. "I don't think RP will be playing the rest of the four days. I spoke to him and he won't be available for the next four days," Uthappa said after play. "He is out with the injury I had. I can relate to how painful it must be."
Mishra agreed, saying RP's participation was now in doubt. "He is in too much pain. We will have to wait [on his fitness]," Mishra said.
Although RP was not available for comment, he was spotted going to the National Cricket Academy at the tea break and, once again, immediately after the day's play.
Although RP had not picked up a wicket, in his two spells he had posed a lot of difficult questions for the batsmen, including a couple of confident lbw appeals against Uthappa. He had been appointed UP's captain on the eve of the match and being the strike bowler, he was their go-to man with the ball.
In his absence, Uthappa said Karnataka had a good chance to dominate and make the semi-finals. "Them being a bowler short is an advantage for us. It gives us that much more of an opportunity to go out there and consolidate and put up a big score," Uthappa said. "The thing about knockout games is to immediately secure a first-innings lead to progress to the next level, and that is what we need to do tomorrow."