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Ranji Trophy 2023-24, QF 1 & QF 4: MP clinch thriller against Andhra, Vidarbha brush aside Karnataka

Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Quarter-final 1 & Quarter-final 4: Madhya Pradesh clinch thriller against Andhra, Vidarbha brush aside Karnataka.

Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Quarter-final, Vidarbha vs Karnataka: Vidarbha beat Karnataka and advance to semis | _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©X_Twitter)
Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Vidarbha beat Karnataka and advance to semis (Images: ©X/Twitter)

After seven quality and exciting rounds, the Ranji Trophy 2023-24 found its eight teams in the quarter-final round. Vidarbha faced Karnataka during the first quarter-final, while Madhya Pradesh took on Andhra in the fourth quarter-final of the tournament. 

Mizoram’s Agni Chopra is so far the leading run-getter of the competition with 939 runs in six games at an average of 78.25 and a strike rate of 103.30. In the bowling department, Hyderabad’s Tanay Thyagarajan is the top wicket-taker with 56 scalps in seven games at an average of 14.98.

Mumbai and Tamil Nadu will be facing each other in the second semifinal of the tournament. 

A look at the first and fourth quarter-finals of Ranji Trophy 2023-24

VID vs KAR: Vidarbha blew away Karnataka with a 127-run victory

Vidarbha qualified for the quarter-final stage on the back of their five victories in seven games with one drawn result. Their only defeat came against Saurashtra by 238 runs. Karnataka won three games and drew three fixtures. They only lost to Gujarat by six runs. 

At the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground (VCA) in Nagpur, Karnataka won the toss and decided to bowl first. Atharva Taide (109) and Yash Rathod (93) put up a huge 184-run second-wicket partnership. Karun Nair missed out on his hundred by 10 runs, as the visitors recorded 460 in their first innings. 

Karnataka batted decently but none of their batters could go on to register a huge score. Ravikumar Samarth (59) and Nikin Jose (82) celebrated their fifties to take Karnataka to 286 in the first innings. A couple of three-wicket hauls each from Aditya Sarwate and Yash Thakur gifted the hosts a vital 174-run lead. 

Vidarbha got off to a good start in the second innings, thanks to their 68-run opening partnership. Dhruv Shorey scored 57 runs but no one else could cross the 40-run mark. From 93/1, Vidarbha lost their last nine wickets for just 103 runs and were blown away for 196. Vidhwath Kaverappa ended with 6/61. 

Chasing was never going to be easy. But both openers Samarth and captain Mayank Agarwal (70) put up a 101-run opening partnership to build the platform. But the hosts came up with new plannings on the fifth day, and Karnataka suddenly started to struggle. They were soon reduced to 173/6 and eventually were bundled out for 243 in their second innings. Both Harsh Dubey and Aditya Sarwate picked up four-wicket hauls. 

Vidarbha earned their semifinal ticket with a victory of 127 runs. 

Brief Scores: VID 460 (Taide 109, Kaverappa 4/99) & 196 (Shorey 57, Kaverappa 6/61) beat KAR 286 (Jose 82, Thakur 3/48) & 243 (Agarwal 70, Dubey 4/65) by 127 runs. 

Player of the Match: Aditya Sarwate (3/50 & 4/78)

MP vs AP: Madhya Pradesh held their never-to-knock-out Andhra in the thriller

The only unbeaten side in the four elite groups of the tournament, Madhya Pradesh won four out of seven games and drew three fixtures. Andhra gained victory in three clashes and drew in three games. Their only defeat of the tournament came against Mumbai by a whooping 10 wickets. 

At the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh won the toss and opted to bat. The 123-run opening stand between Yash Dubey (64) and Himanshu Mantri (49) put up a great platform. But they lost their track from that point and were bundled out for 234, losing all 10 wickets for the last 111 runs. Kodi Ramakrishna Venkata Sasikanth picked up four crucial wickets. 

Andhra didn’t turn up with the bat in hand. Hanuma Vihari didn’t have a great outing, as none of their batters could even cross the 40-run mark. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and were destroyed for just 172 in their first innings. 

Even though the visitors didn’t have a great performance with the bat, they showed a gutsy fight with the ball in hand. Only Himanshu stepped up with his 43-run knock. Only three of the Madhya Pradesh batters could take themselves to double scores, as the hosts were blown away for just 107 in their second innings. Nitish Reddy ended with 4/28. 

Andhra was struggling at one end, but Vihari looked to hold the other end with his 55-run knock. However, Andhra’s dream of a maiden semi-final berth received a hammering when Anubhav Agarwal opened the game with back-to-back wickets in consecutive overs. Andhra found themselves at 118/7, still 52 runs away. Ashwin Hebbar kept fighting and added 32 runs for the ninth wicket. 

Kulwant Khejroliya dismissed Hebbar for 22 as MP pulled off a heist that felt so difficult. Agarwal returned with dream figures of 6/52 to take the hosts to the semifinal round with a tight 4-run victory. 

Brief Scores: MP 234 (Dubey 64, Sasikanth 4/37) & 107 (Mantri 43, Reddy 4/28) beat AP 172 (Shinde 38, Agarwal 3/33) & 165 (Vihari 55, Agarwal 6/52) by 4-runs. 

Player of the Match: Anubhav Agarwal (3/33 & 6/52) 

Both Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh will face each other during the first semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2023-24 on March 02 at the VCA ground in Nagpur.    


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