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Ranji Trophy 2023-24 semifinals: Vidarbha beats Madhya Pradesh by 62 runs to book final date with Mumbai

Aditya Thakare and Yash Thakur plotted the final strike on Madhya Pradesh, propelling Vidarbha to a 62-run win on the fifth day of the first Ranji Trophy semifinal at the VCA Stadium (Civil Lines) in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Needing 93 runs on the last day for a place in the final, with four wickets in hand, MP folded in the 11th over of the day, with Thakare and Thakur scalping two wickets each.

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Even though the home team had the upper hand at the start of play, MP plunged further towards the brink when Kumar Kartikeya deemed it wise to swipe at a delivery in just the second over. Thakare’s length ball crept under his bat and rearranged the stumps. Anubhav Agarwal was undone soon after when Thakare’s delivery kept low and skidded on to crash into the stumps. 

But Vidarbha breathed easy and really had one foot in the final when Saransh Jain departed. MP was pinning its hopes on the left-hander after he had dropped anchor on the fourth day in support of top-scorer Yash Dubey. A menacing nip-backer from Thakur made its way between Saransh’s bat and pad and clipped the top of the middle stump.

The slide, however, did not prevent last-man Kulwant Khejroliya from fancying his chances. He was prompt in upper-cutting a bouncer over the slip cordon off Thakur to pocket a boundary. He continued against Akshay Wakhare in the same vein, who he slog-swept through the vacant mid-wicket region.

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But Thakur ensured Vidarbha cleared the final hurdle and extinguished any MP hopes that remained of a late twist in the tale. Khejroliya went chasing at a delivery way outside the off-stump line and was castled off an inside edge. 

As it forced the final surrender from MP, Vidarbha’s opening day batting slump, and its 82-run first innings deficit, seemed a distant memory. The two-time champion will now vie for a third title against Mumbai from March 10.


Vidarbha 170 & 402 beat Madhya Pradesh 252 & 258 (Yash Dubey 94, Harsh Gawali 67; Yash Thakur 3/60, Akshay Wakhare 3/42) by 62 runs.

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