* Chemplast defeat KSCA XI by one wicket, enter title round

With a thrilling one wicket victory over Karnataka State Cricket Association XI, Chemplast entered the final of the Coromandel Cement Cup in Bangalore on Saturday.

It was excitement all the way at the RSI ground. KSCA had taken a small lead of 16 runs on the first innings so virtually the fate of the match hinged on the second innings, which is restricted to 40 overs. Opening bowlers R Ramkumar and L Balaji kept Chemplast in the hunt by bowling out KSCA in the second innings for 177 in 37.4 overs. Opener Rowland Barrington made a breezy 40 off 50 balls with four hits to the fence. Then Deepak Chougule (49 off 67 balls) and Sunil Joshi (a run a ball 36 with one four and three sixes) added 65 runs for the fourth wicket off 10 overs. But then Ramkumar and Balaji got among the wickets and KSCA slid from 146 for three to 177 all out. Ramkumar took five for 79 while Balaji returned figures of five for 61.

Chemplast now required 194 runs for victory. Openers Sujith Somasundar (30) and Ganesh Kumar (22) put on 49 runs off nine overs. But then skipper Anil Kumble took a couple of quick wickets and Chemplast were suddenly 89 for five. A sixth wicket partnership of 36 runs off six overs between Jinju Joseph (23) and J Hariesh (19) revived Chemplast's hopes. But the dismissal of both these batsmen in three deliveries turned the match KSCA's way. However TR Arasu and Ramkumar with an eighth wicket partnership of 53 runs off only 6.2 overs changed the complexion of the game once again. Ramkumar who scored 29 off 29 balls with two fours and two sixes was dismissed in the 37th over with Chemplast still 16 runs away from victory. Balaji gave Kumble a return catch in the following over with Chemplast still 11 runs short of the target. Last man Tamil Kumaran joined Arasu with 14 deliveries left. Amidst much excitement, the two steered Chemplast to victory with nine balls to spare. Arasu remained unbeaten with 34 off 26 balls with two fours and two sixes while Kumaran contributed a single. Kumble was the most successful bowler with four for 65 off 16 overs.

Chemplast now take on Roofit XI, Mumbai in the three day final commencing on Monday.

* Paranjpe leads Roofit XI to final with win over Pistons

In a game of see-sawing fortunes, Roofit XI from Mumbai pulled off a six wicket win over Chennai's India Pistons at the MJWSC Ground in Bangalore on Saturday. Beginning the final day at 64/1, with an overall lead of 28 runs, the India Pistons team failed to bat out the allotted 40 overs and were dismissed for 223 in 39.3 overs.

Roofit XI's 27-year-old left arm spinner Kiran Adhav was the star with the ball, scalping 5/76 off 15.3 overs. Medium pace bowling all rounder S Mahesh starred with the bat for India Pistons, making 70 off 80 balls (3 fours, 1 six) after being promoted in the batting order. C Hemanth Kumar (74) and Mahesh were involved in a 148-run association for the second wicket, but it proved to be in vain as the rest of the batting failed to click.

Setting off in pursuit of a 189-run target, Roofit XI got off to a good start, with openers Altaf Merchant (23) and Satyajit Parab (41) sharing a partnership of 65 off 19.1 overs. Then Roofit XI skipper Jatin Paranjpe, who came in at No 3, blasted the India Pistons bowlers to all parts of the ground. Crashing 50 runs off 23 balls, with five boundaries and three sixes, the former India player destroyed any chances of an India Pistons victory. Hrishikesh Kanitkar helped himself to 36 before being dismissed and the winning runs were scored with Kiran Powar and Rakesh Patel at the crease. Roofit XI needed just 32.2 of the available 40 overs to reach their target.