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Vidarbha close in, MP’s door open too

Updated on: 06 March,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Nagpur

Hosts are a mere four wickets away from entering final against Mumbai, while Madhya Pradesh still need 93 runs to win at VCA Stadium, Nagpur

Vidarbha close in, MP’s door open too

Vidarbha’s Yash Rathod celebrates his century against Madhya Pradesh on Day Four in Nagpur yesterday. Pic/PTI

Vidarbha took command of their Ranji Trophy semi-final with the key wicket of Yash Dubey (94) late on Day Four as they inched closer to a thrilling victory over Madhya Pradesh here on Tuesday. 

Heading into the final day on Wednesday, hosts Vidarbha are a mere four wickets away from setting up a date in the summit clash with Mumbai, while Madhya Pradesh, who still need 93 runs to win, will hope their tailenders can produce an inspired fight back.

The game tilted in favour of hosts Vidarbha in the penultimate over of the day when Aditya Sarwate (2-51) had Dubey caught by Aman Mokhade, dealing a body blow to Madhya Pradesh’s hopes of making it to their second final in three years.

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Tough task for MP

Chasing 321 to win, Madhya Pradesh reached 228 for six at stumps on the fourth day with their last recognised batter in Saransh Jain (16 not out) joined by Kumar Kartikeya, requiring a huge effort with the bat with not much left in the tank. 

To his credit, Dubey battled hard for Madhya Pradesh with a fine knock even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. The right-handed batter showed grit and composure in a tough chase with a long haul, consuming 212 balls to get his 94 runs with 10 fours.

Madhya Pradesh lost the first-innings’ centurion Himanshu Mantri for a mere eight in the second essay, but it was the failure of their middle-order trio of Sagar Solanki (12), Shubham Sharma (6) and Venkatesh Iyer (19) which hurt the visitors the most. Akshay Wakhare was the star for Vidarbha accounting for these three batters to bring his side back into the contest.

Rathod’s 200-ball 141 

Earlier, Yash Rathod  brought up his century on the fourth day and finished with a high score of 141 off 200 balls, hitting 18 fours and two sixes in the process to lead the way.

Rathod’s late surge was crucial in dragging Vidarbha as far as 402 in their second innings., which was certainly an improved performance from their first innings total of 170. 

Brief scores
Vidarbha 170 & 402  (A Mokhade 59, Y Rathod 141, A Wadkar 77; A Agarwal 5-92) v Madhya Pradesh 252 and 228-6 (Y Dubey 94, H Gawali 67; A Wakhare 3-38, A Sarwate 2-51) 

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