Ranji Trophy QFs: MP hammer Punjab by 10 wickets to qualify for semis

Madhya Pradesh thrashed Punjab by 10 wickets in the quarterfinal to qualify for the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy semifinal, here on Thursday.

With this win, Madhya Pradesh will now face the winners of the match between Bengal and Jharkhand in the semifinal.

Punjab resumed play on day four at 120 for 5, trailing M.P. by 58 runs. Wicketkeeper-batter Anmol Malhotra (34) and Siddarth Kaul (31) began steadily with the vision of taking the game deep as they blunted the spin of Kumar Kartikeya and the seam of Puneet Datey equally effectively. However, once Kaul got stumped out to Saransh Jain, Punjab lost quick wickets and could never recover in the game.

Mayank Markande batted aggressively, hitting four and three sixes in an unbeaten 33 off 37 balls, but it only served to delay the inevitable as Jain picked up the wickets of Vinay Choudhary and Baltej Singh inside three deliveries to finish off the Punjab innings for 203 in the second innings.

Kumar Kartikeya was the star for M.P. with the ball in the second innings as he claimed 6 for 50 while Saransh Jain took 4 for 100.

Chasing a paltry target of 26, Madhya Pradesh openers Himanshu Mantri and Yash Dubey took the team over victory in just 5.1 overs without much trouble.

Earlier, Madhya Pradesh rode on Shubham Sharma’s 102 to post a total of 397 in the first innings after bowling Punjab out for 219.

Brief score: Madhya Pradesh 397 (Shubham 102, Mantri 89, Choudhary 5-83) and 26 for no loss (Dubey 17 not out) beat Punjab 219 (Abhishek 47, Anmolpreet 47, Agarwal 3-36, Datey 3-48) and 203 (Malhotra 34, Markande 33, Kartikeya 6-50, Jain 4-100) by 10 wickets.

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