On the final day of the quarter-final round of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Delhi clinched the match by seven wickets against Madhya Pradesh after left-handed batsman Gautam Gambhir smashed 95 off 129 balls before Madhya Pradesh’s Mihir Hirwani affected his run-out.
Gambhir, who had a mixed domestic season, smashed nine boundaries and a solitary six, as Delhi became the second team to seal the semi-final spot alongside Karnataka which sealed the match on day four against Mumbai.
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Pertinently, it’s first-time after 2009, Delhi has managed to qualify for the semi-final spot.
After resuming their innings from eight without loss in three overs on day five, Delhi openers added just three runs to the overnight score when Harpreet Singh caught Vikas Tokas (6 off 15) on the bowling of Ishwar Pandey.
For the second-wicket, Opening batsman Kunal Chandela (57 off 85) added crucial 98-run partnership alongside Gambhir, before Naman Ojha caught the former on the bowling of Mihir Hirwani. For the third-wicket, Gambhir alongside knitted 95 runs for the third wicket to had their side a convincing victory in Vijayawada.
However, Dhruv Shorey remained unbeaten on 46 off 77 balls, as Nitish Rana smashed a solitary six which saw him facing the total of six balls, before sealing the semi-final spot for his state-side Delhi.
Interestingly, Harpreet Singh of Madhya Pradesh was named Man of the match for his 185 runs in two innings which included a fine century. The first innings total for Madhya Pradesh was 338 which saw Delhi scoring 405 in response in first innings, as Devendra Bundela-led MP were dismissed on 283 in second innings.
In another quarterfinal clash in Surat, Vidarbha strangulated Kerala on 165 runs in 52.2 overs, as Aditya Sarwate’s remarkable six-wicket haul saw the side winning the match by staggering 412 runs.
For Sachin Baby-led Kerala, Salman Nizar was the top-scorer with 64 off 104 balls, as his innings was comprised of four boundaries and four sixes, respectively. Sarwate conceded just 41 runs in 16.2 overs to make things miserable for Kerala. Down the batting order, Sarwate in the second innings also scored 22 off 40 balls.
Moreover, Rajneesh Gurbani picked two wickets and Karn Sharma alongside Akshay Wakhare claimed wicket apiece.
Earlier in the day, Vidarbha declared their second innings on 507 for nine in 146.4 overs.
The fixture between Parthiv Patel-led Gujarat and Manoj Tiwary’s Bengal ended on a draw, as the visitors posted 695 runs for six while facing 231 overs. Anustup Majumdar remained unbeaten on 132 off 172 balls, as Aamir Gani scored 53* off 156 balls.
After Bengal was restricted to 354 in first innings, the defending champions Gujarat side got skittled for 224.