Mumbai and Gujarat join Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand as the four semi-finalists of the 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy. Defending champions Mumbai managed to register an outright win by beating Hyderabad by 30 runs while Gujarat beat Odisha on the virtue of taking the first-innings lead.
Needing 111 runs to win on day 5 of their quarter-final clash against Mumbai at Raipur, Hyderabad's overnight batsmen B Anirudh and Chama Milind gave their side some hopes of causing an upset as they put on a 64-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Anirudh reached his fifty off 133 balls and looked set to take his team home. When they were cruising at 185/7, Mumbai’s experienced campaigner Abhishek Nayar struck twice in space of three balls to dismiss Milind and Md Siraj with the batting side 47 runs away from victory.
Milind was caught behind by skipper Aditya Tare for 29 off 89 balls while Siraj was trapped in front for a duck. In spite of the twin strikes, Anirudh looked calm in the other end and kept the scorecard moving and farmed majority of the strike. When the number 11 batsman, Ravi Kiran was asked to see off the final ball of the 71st over, Nayar managed to finish things off as he had Ravi caught behind for 1 and gave his team a 30-run win along with a place in the semis.
Hyderabad were dismissed for 201 with Anirudh being stranded on 84 off 187 balls. Vijay Gohil and Nayar picked five wickets each in the second innings.
In the other quarter-final clash at Jaipur, Gujarat batted for the majority of day 5 before they were dismissed for 641 and set Odisha a target of 706 to win with just over a session left. Overnight batsman, Samit Gohil resumed his batting on day 5 and reached his triple-century off 627 balls. Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel was never in a mood to declare the innings as he let Gohil bat for some more time.
Just after lunch, Gohil reached 350 and remained unbeaten on 359, the joint fourth highest individual score in Ranji Trophy, when Biplap Samantray dismissed H Patel for 18 and brought an end to their 228-over stay in the field. Dhiraj Singh was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 6-147 in 68 overs.
In return, Odisha were 81-1 when both the teams decided to end the match before the start of play in the final hour. In the other two quarter-finals, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand beat Karnataka and Haryana respectively to make it to the last four. Mumbai will face Tamil Nadu in the first semis at Rajkot while Jharkhand will face Gujarat in the other semis at Nagpur. The semi-finals will be played from January 1, 2017.
At Jaipur: Odisha 199 and 81-1 (Subhranshu Senapati 59*) lost to Gujarat 263 and 641 (Samit Gohil 359*, Priyank Panchal 81, Dhiraj Singh 6-148) on the virtue of conceding the first-innings lead.
At Raipur: Hyderabad 280 and 201 (B Anirudh 84*, Abhishek Nayar 5-40, Vijay Gohil 5-64) lost to Mumbai 294 and 217 by 30 runs.
2016-17 Ranji Trophy semi-final schedule
|1 January - 5 January||Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu||Rajkot|
|1 January – 5 January||Gujarat vs Jharkhand||Nagpur|