New Delhi, Dec 11: Delhi, Bengal and Vidarbha on Monday joined Karnataka as the three other teams to enter the semi-finals of the 2017 Ranji Trophy, Indian domestic cricket’s premier championship.
While Delhi thrashed Madhya Pradesh by seven wickets to reach the last four, Bengal rode on their first innings lead over defending champions Gujarat in the drawn quarter-final tie. Vidarbha, on the other hand, prevailed over Kerala by 412 runs to reach the semis.
Karnataka had on Sunday humbled 41-time Ranji champions Mumbai by an innings and 20 runs in the fourth quarter-final contest.
On Monday, Delhi rode on skipper Gautam Gambhir’s valiant 95 to chase down MP’s modest target of 217 at the ACA Cricket Ground in Vijayawada.
Gambhir, who faced 129 balls and struck nine fours and a six, was involved in two fruitful partnerships as the southpaw first added 98 runs for the second wicket with Kunal Chandela (57 off 85 balls) and then 95 with Dhruv Shorey (46 not out off 77 balls) before being run out, five short of a ton.
This was Delhi’s fourth outright win of the Ranji season, having finished second in Group A with 27 points to Karnataka’s 32.
In Jaipur, Bengal rode on their 130-run first innings lead and then centuries from Writtick Chatterjee (216), Abhimanyu Easwaran (114) in the second essay to enter the semi-finals even as the quarter-final contest against Gujarat ended in a dull draw.
The other quarter-final at Surat, witnessed complete dominance from Vidarbha, who rode on centuries from skipper Faiz Fazal (119) and Apoorv Wankhade (107) to set Kerala an improbable 578-run target .
In response, Kerala succumbed to the left-arm spin of Aditya Sarwate (6/41) to eventually finish on 165 and lose by a mammoth 412-run margin.