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Vidarbha defeat MP by 62 runs, to meet Mumbai in final

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Nagpur, March 6: The pace bowling pair of Aditya Thakare and Yash Thakur battered the Madhya Pradesh tail as Vidarbha defeated their rivals by 62 runs to set up a Ranji Trophy title clash with Mumbai, here on Wednesday.
Madhya Pradesh, who were in a precarious position at stumps on day four at 228/6 requiring 93 more runs to win, withered in the face of hostile bowling from the duo who shared the spoils in the first session of the final day to earn Vidarbha a memorable semifinal win.
Madhya Pradesh were finally bundled out for 258 in 81.3 overs as their hopes of entering the final for the third time in the premier domestic tournament were dashed.
This is Vidarbha’s third entry into the Ranji final, and on both the occasions they have won the title, defeating Delhi (2017-18) and Saurashtra (2018-19) respectively.
Chasing a target of 321 for victory, Madhya Pradesh, the 2021-22 Ranji champion, were still in the match despite losing six wickets, but Thakare and Thakur were on song on the final day, with the early morning freshness of the wicket helping them extract a fair bit of bounce and movement.
Overnight batter Kumar Kartikeya, who had just taken guard when the stumps were called on Tuesday, fell for a duck, cleaned up by Thakare after facing just four balls.
Anubhav Agarwal was the next to depart, clean bowled for a duck by Thakare, leaving MP tottering at 234 for 8 and virtually extinguishing their chances of making it to the Ranji final for the third time.
Saransh Jain tried to keep the innings alive but could add just nine runs to his overnight score of 16 before Yash Thakur sent his stumps flying to bring more joy to the Vidarbha camp.
Kulwant Khejroliya too went cheaply to signal celebrations in the Akshay Wadkar-led side.
Vidarbha will take on 41-time champions Mumbai in the final from March 10.
In a thrilling culmination to the semifinal clash, Vidarbha emerged victorious over Madhya Pradesh by 62 runs, securing their place in the Ranji Trophy final against the formidable Mumbai.
The pace duo of Aditya Thakare and Yash Thakur displayed impeccable skill and determination as they dismantled the Madhya Pradesh tail, delivering a memorable performance that sealed the win for Vidarbha.
Despite Madhya Pradesh’s valiant effort, the relentless bowling attack proved too much to handle, ultimately dashing their hopes of progressing to the final for the third time in the prestigious tournament.
Vidarbha’s triumph marks their third entry into the Ranji final, underscoring their prowess in domestic cricket.
With an impressive track record of securing the title twice before, Vidarbha enters the final with confidence and determination.
As they gear up to face the 41-time champions Mumbai, Vidarbha carries the momentum of their semifinal victory, poised to deliver yet another thrilling performance on the grand stage of Indian cricket.
The stage is set for an exhilarating showdown, where cricketing giants will collide in pursuit of glory and the prestigious Ranji Trophy.
The victory for Vidarbha is not only a testament to their skill and resilience but also a reflection of their unwavering team spirit and determination.
Throughout the semifinal encounter, every player contributed significantly to the team’s success, showcasing their depth and versatility.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 170 & 402 in 101.3 overs (Aman Mokhade 59, Yash Rathod 141, Akshay Wadkar 77; Anubhav Agarwal 5/92) beat Madhya Pradesh 252 and 258 in 81.3 overs (Yash Dubey 94, Harsh Gawali 67; Aditya Sarwate 2/56, Aditya Thakare 2/45, Yash Thakur 3/60, Akshay Wakhare 3/342) 62 runs. (PTI)

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