RANJI TROPHY 2023
Karnataka, Bengal take early control in Ranji semis
by crickethighlights.one Staff • Published on Thu, Feb 9, 2023
Karnataka vs Saurashtra
It was a one-man show at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on the second day as Mayank Agarwal’s blistering double ton helped Karnataka take early control of their contest against Saurashtra. Agarwal, who had already hit a fighting century on the opening day, continued to keep Saurashtra at bay. Srinivas Sharath, who hit a fifty, was trapped leg-before-wicket by Chetan Sakaria and the likes of K Gowtham and Vijaykumar Vyshak didn’t last long either. Karnataka quickly slipped to 278/8 and were in real danger of folding for a total less than 300.
However, Agarwal forged a vital stand with Vidhwath Kaverappa to rescue his side. While Kaverappa battled hard for a 42-ball 15, Agarwal took charge in the partnership and went on an assault to smash a double ton. After Kaverappa’s dismissal, Agarwal continued to dominate and raced to 249 before becoming the last man to get dismissed as he was run out one short of a 250.
Kaverappa then struck early with the ball by castling Snell Patel for a duck. While Vishvaraj Jadeja got a start, he too was bowled by the same bowler as Karnataka took charge of the contest. Sheldon Jackson went on a boundary-spree before stumps to race to 27 but he has a huge task ahead of him on the third day to try and drag Saurashtra back in the contest.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 76/2 (Harvik Desai 27*, Sheldon Jackson 27*; Vidhwath Kaverappa 2/24) trail Karnataka407 (Mayank Agarwal 249, Srinivas Sharath 66; Chetan Sakaria 3/73) by 331 runs
Madhya Pradesh vs Bengal
The other semifinal in Indore followed a similar script as the team that batted first in the contest managed to gain the upper hand early in the contest. Resuming from 307/4, Bengal actually lost Shahbaz Ahmed early in the day. But any hopes of a swift comeback were quashed by Abhishek Porel as he combined with Manoj Tiwary to keep Bengal on top. The duo helped Bengal go past the 400-run mark following Porel’s fighting fifty.
Tiwary’s wicket finally gave Madhya Pradesh an opening. Porel was then run out for 51 before Pradipta Pramanik managed to keep the defending champions on the field for a while longer. Bengal eventually folded for 438 and then managed to make an immediate impression with the ball as well. Yash Dubey and Himanshu Mantri were extremely cautious to begin with as they opted to blunt the new ball.
However, the tactic didn’t last long as Akash Deep broke the opening stand that lasted over 17 overs to score 27. Once Dubey fell, Ishan Porel also picked up a wicket as he dismissed Mantri just three overs before stumps. MP will now rely heavily on the likes of Shubham Sharma and Rajat Patidar to mount a fightback.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 56/2 (Himanshu Mantri 23; Ishan Porel 1/4) trail Bengal 438 (Anustup Majumdar 120, Sudip Gharami 112; Kumar Kartikeya 3/95) by 382 runs