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Yuvi proves a point with the ball as well
- All-rounder registers maiden 5-wicket haul in first-class cricket

Ajinkya Rahane after reaching his 50, on Thursday

Mumbai: Comeback man Yuvraj Singh’s maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket was the only aspect worth mentioning on the final day of the warm-up game between England and India ‘A’ ended that ended in a draw at the Brabourne Stadium.

Yuvraj, who has just nine wickets so far in 37 Tests, ended with figures five for 94 — improving upon his previous best of three for 25 — as England were all out for 426.

Already having dismissed Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell the other day, the left-armer further added the scalps of Samit Patel (104), Matt Prior (51) and James Anderson in the morning session itself to restrict the visitors’ lead to 57.

At his second shot with the long handle, Yuvraj could manage just 14 being before being sent back by Tim Bresnan as India ‘A’ were 124 for four at close of play.

Resuming at 286 four, England captain Alastair Cook (119) added just seven to his overnight score before edging to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, off the bowling of Ashok Dinda.

The skipper’s dismissal ended the 169-run partnership between him and Patel, both of whom steadied the ship after England were reduced to 133 for four.

The arrival of Matt Prior then quickened the scoring with the English stumper unleashing boundaries with ease. He, however, had had a slice of luck when, on four, he slashed Dinda only to be dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at gully.

Bringing up his half-century off as many balls, Prior fell to Yuvraj, edging to Suresh Raina at slip as the pair added 65 runs in just 12.1 overs. Patel, on the other hand, clawed his way to the three-figure-mark before Yuvraj struck again to remove him.

At lunch, England reached 396 for eight with Vinay Kumar picking up Graeme Swann with one that kept a tad low. In the seventh over after break, Yuvraj got his fifth when he had Anderson caught at short leg. Bresnan remained unbeaten on 33 and that ensured England went well past 400.

In their second innings, India had wiped off the deficit by tea with 68 on board after losing Abhinav Mukund, who fell cheaply to Anderson.

Anderson removed the other opener Murali Vijay (32) too, as the latter threw it away despite getting off to a good start.

Rahane (54) though was impressive, hitting six cracking boundaries before edging to slip off Patel. Captain Suresh Raina (19) and Manoj Tiwary (2) were the unbeaten batsmen at close. Raina, however, was lucky to be dropped on nought by Anderson at second slip off Bresnan and his stay at the crease later too was unconvincing, particularly against Bresnan’s pace.

England now take on Mumbai ‘A’ in their second warm-up game at the DY Patil Stadium, in Navi Mumbai, from Saturday before proceeding to Ahmedabad for the third game — a four-day tie — against Haryana, from November 8.

The opening Test of the four-match series versus India is set to commence at the Motera, in Ahmedabad, from November 15.

                             (PTI)

the Head-To-Head summary

(1958-59 to 2006-07)
Bengal and Rajasthan have met 11 times in Ranji Trophy with both teams prevailing on five occasions each. The teams split points in one match. At the Eden, both teams have met six times with Bengal prevailing thrice and Rajasthan twice. The teams split points once.

The following is a brief summary of the matches:
Calcutta, Feb 14-17, 1959, Semi-final — Bengal won by 9 wkts
Udaipur, Feb 16-19, 1962, Semi-final — Rajasthan won by 5 wkts
Calcutta, March 9-12, 1967, Semi-final — Rajasthan won by 154 runs
Jaipur, March 20-21, 1970, Semi-final — Rajasthan won by an innings and 34 runs
Calcutta, Jan/ Feb. 31-3, 1987, Pre-quarter final — Match drawn (Bengal won via first innings lead)
Jaipur (KLS), Feb. 14-17, 1999, Super League Group A — Match drawn (Bengal won via first innings lead)
Calcutta, Feb. 24-27, 2000, Super League Group A — Match drawn (Rajasthan won via first innings lead)
Jaipur, Jan. 23-27, 2002, Pre-quarter final — Bengal won by an innings and 51 runs
Calcutta, Nov. 9-12, 2002, Elite Group A — Match drawn (points shared)
Jaipur (KLS), Nov. 7-10, 2003, Elite Group A — Rajasthan won by 152 runs
Calcutta Jan. 10-13, 2007, Elite Group B — Bengal won by an innings and 62 runs
Bengal in Ranji Trophy (1935-36 to 2011-12)
Total matches: 357; Won: 235; Lost: 113; Drawn: 9; Win%: 65.83
Rajasthan in Ranji Trophy (1935-36 to 2011-12)
Total matches: 297; Won: 142; Lost: 148; Drawn: 7; Win%: 47.81

Mohandas Menon

decoding THE NEW FORMAT

Three groups of nine teams each. Each team will play eight matches at the League stage.

Three teams from Groups A and B, and two from Group C, will qualify for the Knockout phase.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be five-day games.
If in the Knockout phase, a result on first innings is not obtained at the end of the fifth day, then the match will be extended into a sixth day.
If a result on first innings is not obtained even at the end of the sixth day, then the winner will be decided by the spin of the coin.
Points system
Outright win — Six points
Innings win/win by 10 wickets — One bonus point
Tie on both innings — Three points each
First Innings lead but no outright win — Three points
Loss on first innings — One point
Tie on first innings without outright result — One point each
Outright loss — No point
First innings results not achieved, with or without weather interference — One point each