Ranji Trophy 2022 Semi-Final 1, Bengal vs Madhya Pradesh: Himanshu Mantri's 165, Kumar Kartikeya 8-128 and Shahbaz Ahmed's 116 & 8-165 are top three performances. Madhya Pradesh win first semi-final against Bengal by 174 runs. MP to face Mumbai in final.
Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 341 (Himanshu Mantri 165, Mukesh Kumar 66/4) & 281 (Shrivastava 82, Patidar 79, Ahmed 79/5, Pramanik 65/4) beat Bengal 273 (Ahmed 116, Tiwary 102, Datey 48/3, Kartikeya 61/3) & 175 (Easwaran 78, Kartikeya 67/5, Gaurav Yadav 19/3) by 174 runs
Player of the Match: Himanshu Mantri (165 & 21)
Madhya Pradesh skipper Aditya Shrivastava won the toss and opted to bat first in the first semi-final of Ranji Trophy 2022 against Bengal at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) Cricket Ground in Alur played between June 14-18.
Madhya Pradesh made 341 runs in the first innings on the back of a phenomenal knock of 165 by Himanshu Mantri. West Bengal replied with 273 runs in the first innings with the help of individual centuries registered by Manoj Tiwari and Shahbaz Ahmed. Thus, Madhya Pradesh took an important lead of 68 runs over Bengal.
Madhya Pradesh scored 281 runs in the second innings and put a target of 350 runs in front of Bengal. Rajat Patidar and skipper Aditya Shrivastava smashed half-centuries in the third innings. Bengal’s opener Abhimanyu Easwaran made 78 runs in the fourth innings but due to lack of support from other batters, Bengal could make only 175 runs while chasing the target of 350 runs. This way Madhya Pradesh defeated Bengal by 174 runs to book a seat in Ranji Trophy 2022 Final.
This is going to be Madhya Pradesh’s second appearance in the final of India’s premier domestic competition after their first final appearance in Ranji Trophy 1998-99. They lost to Karnataka in that game at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru by 96 runs despite taking a crucial 75-run lead in the first innings.
Here are the top three performances from the first semi-final of Ranji Trophy 2022 between Madhya Pradesh and Bengal.
Himanshu Mantri carried his side on his shoulders in first innings with 165
Madhya Pradesh opener Himanshu Mantri was playing only his sixth first-class game. However, he produced one of the finest knocks in a knockout match in the Ranji Trophy. Madhya Pradesh lost their first wicket with jus 10 on the board, and later lost three more wickets on 97, still, Himanshu continued to bat comfortably. He added 123 runs with Akshat Raghuwanshi for the fifth wicket. The 28-year-old batter also added 64 runs with lower-order batter Puneet Datey.
At last, Himanshu got out after making 165 runs off 327 deliveries. His stupendous knock was studded with 19 fours and one six. Due to his astonishing knock, Madhya Pradesh reached a total of 341 runs in the first innings. This was Himanshu's maiden ton in first class cricket.
In the second innings of the match, Himanshu could score only 21 runs off 61 balls.
Shahbaz Ahmed’s all-round show went in vain - 116 and eight wickets
Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed has been a vital player for his first-class side in the last four years. He bagged three wickets in the first innings and followed this performance with a stupendous century for Bengal in the second innings of the match.
Bengal lost half of their team on just 54 in the first innings, then Ahmed stitched a partnership of 183 runs with Manoj Tiwari (102) to rescue their side from collapse. Ahmed amassed 116 runs off 209 deliveries with the help of 12 fours.
In the second innings of Madhya Pradesh, Ahmed proved to be the chief nemesis of opponent batters. He bagged five wickets after conceding just 79 runs with his left-arm spin. Again with bat in hand, he tried to bail out his side from another collapse but he didn’t get any support from other batters.
Ahmed remained unbeaten on 22, as Bengal got all-out on 175 in the fourth innings. Ahmed is the highest wicket-taker of Bengal in this season of Ranji Trophy with 20 wickets in five games.
Shahbaz Ahmed is also the highest run-scorer for Bengal in this season's Ranji Trophy. He amassed 482 runs in five matches with a remarkable average of 60.25.
Kumar Kartikeya becomes top wicket-taker for Madhya Pradesh - 61/3 & 67/5
Young left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya was the most successful bowler for Madhya Pradesh in the all-important semi-final. Kartikeya bagged three wickets in the first innings of Bengal. He bagged wickets of top-order batters of Bengal - Abhishek Raman and Sudip Gharami. Later in the fourth innings when Bengal were chasing 350 runs to win the game, Kartikeya bagged a fifer to bundle out Bengal for just 175.
Kartikeya bagged the wickets of Bengal openers - Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran (78) and also dismissed middle-order batters - Abhishek Porel and Manoj Tiwary. He scalped a total of eight wickets in this important game against Bengal.
Due to the phenomenal knock of Himanshu Mantri and the fifer of Kartikeya, Bengal defeated Madhya Pradesh by 174 runs and secured a berth in Ranji Trophy 2022 Final. Kartikeya has taken 27 wickets from five games in this season of the Ranji Trophy, which makes him the second-highest wicket-taker in the season.
Madhya Pradesh will square off against Mumbai in their second-ever Ranji Trophy Final to be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru from June 22-26.