End of innings Rest of India 201 (Badrinath 80*, Jaffer 45, Srivastava 5-74) and 45 for 0 trail Uttar Pradesh 148 and 166 (Jyoti Yadav 38, Pandey 32, VRV Singh 4-40) by 69 runs
How they were out
A disciplined bowling performance and a rollicking start in the run chase saw Rest of India march inexorably towards victory by the end of the second day. ROI hustled out Uttar Pradesh for a meagre 166, before setting off in style in pursuit of the 114 runs needed for victory. Wasim Jaffer and Gautam Gambhir racked up 45 in no time and barring a minor miracle, ROI was all set to lift the Irani Trophy.
UP's collapse began after Zaheer Khan removed Praveen Kumar for a first-ball duck and Tanmay Srivastava committed hara-kiri by running himself out. Lakshmipathy Balaji prised out Shivakant Shukla, the first-innings top scorer, to rock the top order before VRV Singh harassed the lower-middle order with his pace and lift. ROI's march was only briefly stymied by a late-order resistance between Jyoti Yadav and Amir Khan. The duo stitched together a 55-run partnership - third highest of the match, for the seventh wicket to put up a semblance of fight but that might have succeeded in only delaying the inevitable.
Earlier, Subramaniam Badrinath was left stranded , twenty runs short of a deserved hundred, but his 46-run partnership for the last wicket with Pragyan Ojha was enough to steer ROI to a vital 53-run lead. In the context of the low-scoring game and coupled with the fact that Uttar Pradesh's strike bowler, Ashish Winston Zaidi was indisposed, it proved be a valuable lead.
It was a day when ROI's bowlers incessantly kept the pressure on, and the wickets came surprisingly quickly on a pitch that was still not unplayable. ROI's attack was on the money and maintained a consistent line and length during the early passage of play, with Zaheer, in particular, being nippy. With the UP batsmen almost eager to combust, Zaheer and Balaji kept it simple. Invariably, with three slips and a gully prowling, the ball would land on a length in the channel around the off stump, and push the edgy batsmen towards making the fatal waft. After Kumar, who had dazzled with a 59-ball 42 in the first essay, perished, poking outside the off stump, and Tanmay was run out by a direct hit by Gautam Gambhir, Shivakant and Ravikant Shukla held firm. However, just after noon, Ravikant was given out when he poked at a Zaheer delivery and Balaji moved one away to catch the outside edge of Shivakant to lift ROI's spirits.
Vikram Singh came on to his own in the second session, mixing his back- of- length deliveries with a few well-directed short-pitched balls. He pushed Rizwan Shamshad - who promised much more than the meagre 10 he managed - back with a bumper and extracted a weak slash off the next one that was pitched on a length.
But his harassment of Gyanendra Pandey was the highlight of the second session. He repeatedly pinged Pandey, who looked to be perennially late in most of his shots against the seamers, with bouncers at the body and slipped in slanted deliveries on a length that teased the outside edge. But to his credit, Pandey didn't throw in the towel. He shrugged off three painful hits to his chest, only calling for the physiotherapist after Singh was taken off the attack after six incisive overs, and sought relief and revenge at the other end where a spinner operated. He swung Murali Kartik twice over deep midwicket and square-cut Ojha. However, Kartik had the last word - which, in fact, was a shouted thank you to the batsman, when Pandey went for one heave too many and holed out at the deep.
Then came the resistance by Jyoti and Amir which, however, might prove to be too little and too late. While Amir, the slim and wristy wicketkeeper-batsman, took his chances, driving and flicking, Jyoti sewed one end up with a patient effort. He defended stoutly against the seamers - stole five hits to the fence when Balaji and Vikram Singh erred. But just when the partnership threatened to grow into something more substantial, it ended under slightly controversial circumstances. Amir steered Balaji to second slip where Murali Kartik stooped low and came up with a tumbling catch. Amir tarried briefly before walking off after getting confirmation from the umpire, who didn't refer it to the third eye. However, TV replays seemed to suggest that the ball might have grazed the ground before settling into Kartik's palms. Yadav joined his partner soon, when he fell to an acrobatic one-handed catch by Robin Uthappa at gully. UP's mutiny was over and Vikram Singh went on to clean up the tail.
ROI, overnight on 131 for 7, looked up to Badrinath to stretch their lead. He started off in a conservative manner, reposing trust in Balaji's ability with the bat. But when Balaji fell chasing a wide one and Singh combusted on arrival, Badrinath went for the jugular. It was a lovely mixture of conventional and innovative shots, hooks and square-drives dished out with dollops of cheeky lap shots and steers over slips.
UP fell into the age-old quandary, whether to attack the main batsman or solely concentrate on taking out the last man. They chose the latter and paid for it. Badrinath not only farmed the strike - refusing to take singles in the early parts of the over - but also hit out when the field closed in at the end. Ojha grew in confidence and chipped in with useful singles to help rotate the strike before he fell to the spinner Avinash Yadav. By then, however, he had done his bit to push UP on the back foot.
How they were out
Rest of India
Lakshimipathy Balaji c Shamshad b Srivastava 15 (155 for 8)
Chased a wide one outside offstump, edged to second slip
Vikram Singh b Srivastava 0 (155 for 9)
Played a nothing shot to a delivery that darted back in and uprooted the legstump
Pragyan Ojha c Shukla b Avinash Yadav 3 (201)
Swept straight to square-leg
P Kumar c Kartik b Khan 0 (0 for 1)
Pushed away from his body, snaffled at second slip
Tanmay Srivastava run out 0 (4 for 2)
Took off after dabbing to the right of Gautam Gambhir at point, sent back, but couldn't beat the direct hit
Ravikant Shukla c Karthik b Khan 8 (39 for 3)
Poked at a delivery outside off, TV replays not conclusive
Shivakant Shukla c Jaffer b Balaji 33 (54 for 4)
Pushed at a delivery that left him, sharp catch, low at second slip
Rizwan Shamshad c Karthik b VRV Singh 10 (55 for 5)
Edged an attempted cut
Gyanendra Pandey c Zaheer b Kartik 32 (90 for 6)
Hoicked straight to deep midwicket
Amir Khan c Kartik b Balaji 26 (145 for 7)
Steered low to second slip, tumbling catch, tv replays suggest ball might have touched the ground
Avinash Yadav c Karthik b VRV Singh 0 (159 for 8)
Top-edged a pull
Jyoti Yadav c Uthappa b VRV Singh 38 (159 for 9)
Steered to right of gully, one-handed diving catch
Ashish Winston Zaidi b VRV Singh 1 (166)
Played a nothing shot