Railways and UP set up title clash
A round-up of the semi-final matches that took place on March 19
Tejinder Pal Singh's unbeaten 90 helped Railways advance to the finals of the Ranji Trophy one-day tournament beating Bengal by 101 runs at Lucknow. Tejinder, the Railways left-hander, anchored the innings, after Sanjay Bangar (44) and Amit Pagnis (31) laid the foundation with another solid opening stand. Shib Shankar Paul was most effective bowler for Bengal with figures of 3 for 44 as Railways finished on 266 for 8.
Bengal had a reasonably good start, with the openers putting on 62. Sourav Ganguly was unable to carry on his good form from the last game, falling to Harvinder Singh for 22. From then on, the Railways slow bowlers led by Kulamani Parida (3 for 15) struck at regular intervals and combined to bundle out Bengal for 165. Madan Yadav and Bangar shared four wickets between them as Railways set up a title clash with Uttar Pradesh.
Ranji Trophy champions Uttar Pradesh gave themselves a chance to bag another title this season, as they comprehensively beat Baroda by 102 runs in the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy one-day tournament at Lucknow. Jyoti Prasad Yadav, the UP middle-order batsman, was unlucky to be stranded on 99, but played a major role in overcoming a shaky start and lifting the total to 217 for 9. Sankalp Vohra, the Baroda medium pacer, struck early blows, picking up the first three wickets, including that of Suresh Raina, the captain. Yadav held the innings together till the end, facing 113 balls and cracking seven fours.
Baroda failed to get going from the start and were staring at defeat at 44 for 7. The UP seamers, Shalabh Srivastava, Ali Murtaza and Praveen Kumar shared seven wickets between them and bundled out Baroda for a paltry 115. UP, who were joint winners in last year's edition of the tournament, will have the home advantage when they meet Railways in the finals at Lucknow on March 21.