Kumar Kartikeya, Himanshu Mantri put MP in first Ranji final since 1998-99

Madhya Pradesh 341 (Mantri 165, Raghuwanshi 63, Mukesh 4-66) and 281 (Shrivastava 82, Shahbaz 5-79, Pramanik 4-65) beat Bengal 273 (Shahbaz 116, Tiwary 102, Kartikeya 3-61) and 175 (Easwaran 78, Kartikeya 5-67, Gaurav 3-19) by 174 runs

Twenty-three years after their Ranji Trophy dream went up in smoke, Madhya Pradesh will battle for the title on the similar venue of their heartbreak – the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Standing of their manner shall be Mumbai, the 41-time champions, who shall be of their first closing since 2016-17.

That MP discover themselves within the closing is thanks in no small half to left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya. After selecting six second-innings wickets towards Punjab to bowl MP into the semi-final final week, he picked up 5 second-innings wickets towards Bengal to take them into the ultimate. The victory margin of 174 runs mirrored MP’s superior batting.
They set the sport up within the first innings to make 341 from 97 for 4, due to Himanshu Mantri’s 165 and his century stand with 18-year-old Akshat Raghuwanshi. Bengal introduced the sport again on a fair keel from 54 for five due to centuries from a hobbling Manoj Tiwary and Shahbaz Ahmed. The pair whittled down Bengal’s deficit to 68, however MP’s batters constructed on slowly – brick by brick – courtesy Rajat Patidar (79) and Aditya Shrivastava (82) to arrange a goal of 350.

Bengal resumed a delayed closing day needing 254 with six wickets standing after the cream of their prime order was dismantled late on the fourth night. Barring Sudip Gharami, out to a poor lbw name making an attempt to reverse sweep, the remainder of the batting caved in towards spin.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, the captain, batted via to make a battling 78. However when he turned the sixth wicket to fall to a Kartikeya grubber that scooted low to beat his underneath edge and crash into the stumps, the top wasn’t far.

Victory was achieved within the 66th over when seamer Gaurav Yadav bowled Mukesh Kumar to select up his third wicket of the innings. Bengal had been shot out for 175, with Shahbaz surprisingly unbeaten on an 82-ball 22, at no stage trying to take the aggressive route regardless of wickets falling on the different finish.

Bengal determined to strengthen their batting by enjoying an additional allrounder on this sport, thereby preserving out Ishan Porel. The transfer spectacularly backfired with Sayan Mondal, the person given a look-in, managing scores of 0 and 1 in two innings. Having gone wicketless in 14 overs within the first innings, he bowled all of two within the second.

It ends a disappointing season for Bengal, the place they confirmed flashes of brilliance, like of their opening sport the place they scripted their highest-ever run chase after being shot out for 88 within the first innings by Baroda. MP, in the meantime, have bossed their manner via within the quarters and now semis, to set themselves up for the grand finale.
By the way, Chandrakant Pandit, who was Mumbai’s coach once they misplaced to Gujarat 5 years in the past, is now with MP. Having masterminded titles with Mumbai and more-recently with Vidarbha for 2 back-to-back seasons, he can have an opportunity to do with MP as coach what he could not as a captain all these years in the past, when Karnataka beat them to carry the trophy.
Pandit and Mumbai’s present coach Amol Muzumdar, each college students of legendary coach late Ramakant Achrekar, will shepherd their groups in what guarantees to be a riveting battle of the khadoos come June 22.

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