Rajasthan show Mumbai the door

They will now meet Tamil Nadu in the semi-finals which will be played at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium from January 3-6.

Having already batted Mumbai out by the second day and further consolidating with a healthy 232 run lead by the penultimate day, it was just a case of going through the motions on the final day.

Former India U-19 captain Ashok Menaria completed his maiden century. Menaria scored 121-- an innings that was studded with eight boundaries and five towering sixes. He was the last man out but only after Rajasthan has batted for another couple of hours and taken their total to a mammoth 589. Thus Rajasthan ensured their passage in the final with a huge 337-run first innings lead.

Mumbai scored 290 for one in their inconsequential second innings where Rohit Sharma (68, 72 balls, 11x4) opened with Sahil Kukreja (100 not out, 155 balls, 11x4, 1x6. But Ajinkya Rahane provided some entertainment scoring an unbeaten 102 off only 69 deliveries with 12 boundaries and three sixes.

It was rather easy pickings for Mumbai batsmen as Vivek Yadav and Ashok Menaria did the bulk of the scoring.

If Rajasthan have reached where they are today, credit should go to three outstation pros Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Aakash Chopra and Rashmi Ranjan Parida who have guided a young team and instilled self belief in them that they can beat the best in the business.

Not to forget the kind of defining performances they put up in crunch games. Like Chopra's triple hundred in the Plate Group semi-finals against Maharashtra or Kanitkar's timely century against Mumbai-- they have risen to the occasion.

The bowlers led by Pankaj Singh also performed well within their limitations. The emergence of a fine swing bowler in Deepak Chahar whose unbelievable debut of eight for 10 against Hyderabad will definitely be one of the highlights of this edition.

If they can upset Tamil Nadu, who have had a lucky ride in the tournament so far, it will be another glorious chapter to their fairytale season.

Semis line-up

* At Vadodara: Baroda vs K’taka.
* At Jaipur: Rajasthan vs TN.

The semifinals will be held from January 3-6.

Comments (+)