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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017: Quarter-final round up, Jharkhand eases to victory against Vidarbha; Bengal snatch victory against Maharashtra

Jharkhand will face Bengal in the semi-finals.

Ishank Jaggi top scored with 41 for Jharkhand

3rd Quarter-final: Vidarbha vs Jharkhand, at Palam A Stadium – Delhi

Group A toppers Vidarbha, who had lost just one match in the opening stage, took on Group D runners-up Jharkhand in a rather one-sided fixture at the Palam A Stadium in Delhi. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Jharkhand side cruised to an easy victory to ensure their place in the semi-finals.

Vidarbha won the toss and elected to bat first. However, they failed to get going and lost wickets at regular intervals. Captain Faiz Fazal, who opened the innings fell prey to Varun Aaron while Ambati Rayudu failed to get runs on the board as well. Ganesh Satish tried to somewhat steady the ship but could not convert his good start into a big score.

Ravi Jangid and Rajneesh Gurbani added some valuable runs when they had a partnership of 61 runs for the eighth wicket. Jangid scored 62 runs before he was run out. Eventually, Vidarbha managed only 159 runs at the loss of nine wickets in their stipulated 50 overs. For Jharkhand, Monu Kumar was the pick of the bowlers with figures 2-27.

In reply, Jharkhand’s openers Ishan Kishan and Pratyush Singh provided a solid start as they put on 68 runs for the first wicket. However, both failed to capitalise on their promising starts. Two quick dismissals followed but Jharkhand were always confident in their chase.

With Saurabh Tiwary’s wicket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni came to the wicket to see through until the end of the chase along with Ishank Jaggi. Dhoni gave the spectators something to cheer for as he finished off in style by hitting a six. On the hindsight, it turned out to be a good toss to lose.

Brief scores: Vidarbha 159/9 in 50 overs (Ravi Jangid 62, Ganesh Satish 35, Monu Kumar 2/27) lost to Jharkhand 165/4 in 45.1 overs (Ishank Jaggi 41*, Ishan Kishan 35, MS Dhoni 18*, Ravikumar Thakur 2/25)


4th Quarter-final: Bengal vs Maharashtra, at Feroz Shah Kotla – Delhi

The fourth quarter-final of the tournament between Bengal and Maharashtra turned out to be an exciting affair. Group C toppers Bengal had lost some momentum in their final group stage match but managed to eke out a nail-biting win to book their berth in the semis.

Maharashtra captain Kedar Jadhav won the crucial toss and elected to bat first. Opener Ruturaj Gaekwad got off to a strong start but fell just seven short of a half century. However, Jadhav, who has been in top form in the tournament, and Rahul Tripathy kept the scoreboard ticking.

After Jadhav was dismissed for a well-made 44, wicketkeeper Nikhil Naik built an 116-run partnership with Tripathy for the fifth wicket. Ultimately, Tripathy was dismissed at 95 of 74 balls, but some hard hitting from the lower middle order pushed the score up to 319/6. None of the Bengal bowlers was able to keep things tight.

Set a daunting target of 320 in 50 overs, the Bengal batsmen were up for the challenge. Opener Shreevats Goswami set the tone with a brilliantly made 74 comprising 7 boundaries. Agniv Pan and captain Manoj Tiwary all chipped in with scores of 47 and 40. Pan, especially, was very impressive in his 37-ball knock.

However, it was Sudip Chatterjee and experienced campaigner, Anustup Majumdar, who helped Bengal take the game into the final stages. Majumdar got out after scoring a quickfire 66 runs, and a wicket in the last over tightened things up. But Sudip held his end to help his side win the game.

On a rather interesting note, this was Bengal’s highest successful run chase in the tournament’s history.

Brief scores: Maharashtra 319/6 in 50 overs (Rahul Tripathi 95, Nikhil Naik 63, Kedar Jadhav 44, Sayan Ghosh 61/2) lost to Bengal 320/6 in 49.5 overs (Shreevats Goswami 74, Anustup Majumdar 61, Sudip Chatterjee 60*,  Kedar Jadhav 30/2)

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