Mumbai vs Services: Rain plays spoilsport

Ranji Trophy semi-final: The match has a provision for a sixth day – if required – for a result.

Play called off without a ball being bowled. (Photo: Kunal Diwan/Yahoo! Cricket)

New Delhi:
Not a ball was bowled in the second Ranji Trophy semi-final between Services and Mumbai at the Palam 'A' Ground on Friday, as persistent rain blanked out the entire day. Play was called off around 11 a.m. when a stubborn drizzle and wet outfield compelled the umpires to call it quits.

The Mumbai team left soon after arriving at the venue after it was realised that the weather wouldn't allow the match to resume. Sachin Tendulkar and Ajit Agarkar were whisked out from the back exit, while the rest of the team left on another bus after waiting in vain for the skies to clear up.

When Ajit met Sachin
Day 2: Mumbai fight back
Day 1: Services stretch Mumbai
'It's not often that I get a hundred'


With Mumbai in a strong position on 380/6 in their first innings and more inclement weather on the cards, there are only two probable ways of arriving at a decision in the last-four clash. One possibility is Mumbai declaring after gaining a sizable total and skittling out Services to gain a first innings lead in whatever play possible in the remaining two days.

A rather chancier scenario shall arise if Services manage to hang on to their innings until time runs out. In this case, the team to qualify for the final will be identified by the spin of coin.

Since the rules have no provision of deciding on a winner through superior run rate or performances in the league stage, one Ranji finalist will then be decided by means of a coin toss – not the most ideal way to deal with things in the knock-out stage of India’s premier domestic competition.

“The pitch is not doing much, and even if Mumbai get to around 450 in their first innings, we will look to overhaul it,” said Services manager Wing Commander Deepak Bhaskar.

“Cricket is all about runs and wickets. We will not take the passive approach. It is possible for us to be positive and take first innings lead.”

"If we had Suraj Yadav, we could have bowled them out yesterday. He has been our man in form with 46 wickets this season and unfortunately he had an injury. He has a small niggle in his ankle. A ball hit him on his ankle in the game against Jharkhand and he has aggravated that slightly," Bhaskar added.

The match also has a provision for a sixth day – if required – for a result. “We have the batting to make it count. But first we have to dismiss Mumbai and then plan on an approach for overhauling their score,” Bhaskar added.

Overcast skies and damp conditions, however, make it unlikely for the match to resume on schedule on Saturday - the fourth day - and Mumbai currently look favourites to enter their 44th Ranji final – unless the lottery of a coin toss restores parity for either team.

Soumya Ranjan Swain, who has been captaining Services in the semifinal instead of the injured Soumik Chatterjee, also sounded confident.

"Leading the team is a huge honour and I enjoy it. It was a challenge to lead the side for a big match like the Ranji semi-final. We did well on the first day but yesterday didn't go according to plan. It's a challenge but we'll fight it out. Only when we restart the game will we know how to go about it. We saw them bat yesterday and it (the pitch) was not too difficult."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »