The 2012-13 Ranji Trophy semifinal line-ups are out. Saurashtra will play Punjab at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot, while Services will host 39-time champions Mumbai at the Palam Cricket Ground in New Delhi, a BCCI press release said on Thursday. Both matches will be played from January 16-20.
Saurashtra, who were semi-finalists in 2007-08 and 2008-09, advanced to the last-4 on the basis of first innings lead against Karnataka. However, there is bad news for them, as Chesteshwar Pujara, the triple centurion against Karnataka, won’t play against Punjab owing to his India commitment.
Meanwhile, Punjab, who got the better of Jharkhand on first innings lead, have won the title once, in 1992-93. They were runners-up in 1994-95 and 2004-05.
Services, who qualified for the quarters from Group C, stunned Uttar Pradesh to progress on Wednesday. Services will be looking over their shoulders owing to the return of Sachin Tendulkar to Mumbai ranks. Tendulkar played a key role with a ton in Mumbai’s first-innings lead against Baroda in the quarterfinals. Mumbai last won the Ranji Trophy in 2009-10, while Services were runners-up in 1956-57 and 1957-58. They were also semi-finalists six times, in 1950-51, 1951-52, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1964-65 and 1967-68.
As far as match officials are concerned, C Shamshuddin and Rob Bailey, who is from England, will officiate the Saurashtra-Punjab tie, while Subrat Das and Adrian Holdstock, who is from South Africa, will officiate at the Services-Mumbai game.