| VRV Singh
Nagpur: Rest of India were just 69 runs away from victory in the Irani Trophy match against Ranji champions Uttar Pradesh after bundling them out for a meagre 166 in their second innings.
Requiring 114 for a win, Rest of India cruised to 45 without loss in their second innings on the second day of the five-day match at the VCA Stadium here Tuesday. Skipper Wasim Jaffer (25) and Gautam Gambhir (18) put Rest of India on course for a victory.
Rest of India seamers ran through the opposition once again with VRV Singh claiming four wickets for 40. Zaheer Khan (2/34) and Laxmipathy Balaji (2/46), who claimed four wickets in their first innings, had earlier knocked off the top order.
Earlier, piloted by an undefeated 80 from S Badrinath, Rest of India gained a vital first innings lead of 53 runs, before falling for 201 in 53.3 overs.
Badrinath displayed great resolve in shot selection, with fine drives and pull shots making it a splendid knock.
Uttar Pradesh left-arm mediumpacer S Srivastava bowled with a lot of enthusiasm and claimed five for 74 off 20.3 overs.
The Ranji champions began their second innings on a disastrous note, losing four early wickets to Rest of India Zaheer and Balaji.
Shukla (33) in company of Jyoti Yadav (38) tried to steady the ship but VRV, in his second spell, cut though the Uttar Pradesh innings.