Jharkhand, Railways in semis

Jharkhand, Railways in semis

Rahul Shukla grabbed five wickets in an impressive pace bowling display as Jharkhand beat Services by 25 runs to set up a semifinal clash against Ranji champions Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day cricket tournament here on Wednesday.

Shukla (5/61) and fellow pacer Jaskaran Singh (2/22) ran through the Services top order as they were shot out for 189 in 48.4 overs while chasing a target of 215 at the Jadavpur University second campus ground at Salt Lake.

Services were reduced to a precarious 62 for five at one stage before number seven batsman Soumya Swain (45 from 66 balls; 5x4) and skipper Yashpal Singh (39 from 81 balls) rebuilt the innings before Jharkhand leg-spinner Ashish Yadav broke the 46-run sixth-wicket stand by dismissing the latter.

Left-hander Swain and Suraj Yadav (28 from 35 balls; 3x4) threatened to tilt the game in Services’ favour by adding a quickfire 35 runs from 33 balls to take the equation to 71 runs required from 63 balls.

It was Shukla the fielder who came into the picture, running out the aggressive-looking Swain in a joint effort with Shahbaz Nadeem to break the seventh-wicket partnership.

Man-of-the-match Shukla, who was given the extended quota, returned to wipe the tail en route his second five-for in List A matches as Services were bundled out for 189 in 48.4 overs.

Earlier, number nine Shukla scored 32 runs from 34 balls with two sixes after Kumar Deobrat (84 from 99 balls; 7x4, 2x6) and Keshav Kumar (41 from 74 balls; 3x4) rescued Jharkhand from a top-order collapse with a 111-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Jharkhand also had a Services-like start to be reduced to 35 for five with their new ball bowlers Suraj Yadav (4/36) and Shadab Nazar (4/53) blazing all guns. Yadav claimed two wickets in one over, including that of Saurabh Tiwary (8), to rock the Jharkhand top order.

Jharkhand will face Karnataka in the first semifinal at the same venue on Friday.

Railways stun Punjab

Meanwhile, a unheralded Railways side caused a shock by dumping Punjab to enter the semifinals.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Mahesh Rawat led from the front with a run-a-ball 108 as they made a competitive 242.

In reply, their bowlers – Krishnakant Upadhyay (2/14), Anureet Singh (2/26) and Ashish Yadav (3/12) – ripped through the Punjab innings skittling them out for 105.