Ranji Trophy 2012-13: Services fight hard after Mumbai declare innings

Skipper Ajit Agarkar slammed 145 against Services at Palam Ground in Delhi © Getty Images (Representation pic)

New Delhi: Jan 20, 2013

Services kept Mumbai bowlers at bay to take the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy into the reserve sixth day at New Delhi on Sunday. In Rajkot, Saurashtra qualified for the final for the first time in 75 years after thrashing Punjab by 229 runs in the other semi-final.

Play finally resumed at New Delhi after the third and fourth day were abandoned due to inclement weather. Mumbai declared their first innings on 454 for eight and their bowlers came out hard to try and wrap-up the game.

However, gritty innings from Soumya Swain (64 not out) and Yashpal Singh (43 not out) kept Mumbai at bay after losing three early wickets. Services were 164 for three at stumps and trail their opponents by 290 runs.

Mumbai, who started the day at 380 for six, added another 74 runs before declaring. Services bowlers were finally able to dismiss Aditya Tare (120) and Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar (145) after the duo bailed their team out from a precarious situation.

Services, in reply started off shakily as both openers were sent back to the pavilion with just 22 on the board. Anshul Gupta (31) put on a brief resistance before he too was dismissed to leave the hosts reeling at 72 for three.

Swain and Yashpal then forged an unbeaten 92-run partnership for the fourth wicket to bring the Services back into the game.

Meanwhile, Vishal Joshi’s five-wicket haul in the second innings helped Saurashtra qualify for the final in convincing fashion.

Punjab batsmen fell like nine pins and were bowled out for a meagre 119. It was a pedestrian performance from the visitors with only five batsmen going into double figures.

Joshi was well supported by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Jaydev Unadkat as they returned with three and two wickets respectively.

Brief Scores: Mumbai 454 for 8 dec. (Ajit Agarkar 145, Aditya Tare 120, Sachin Tendulkar 56, Abhishek Nayar 70; Shadab Nazar 3 for 142, Suraj Yadav 2 for 49) lead Services 164 for 3 (Soumya Swain 63*, Yashpal Singh 43*; Dhawal Kulkarni 1 for 18) by 290 runs