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Ranji Trophy Semifinals: Bengal reduce deficit against MP, Mumbai put UP in a spot of bother

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Bengaluru, June 15 (Ajit Weekly News) Manoj Tiwary and Shahbaz Ahmed’s crucial innings helped Bengal reduce the deficit against Madhya Pradesh while pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande took a wicket each to leave Uttar Pradesh in a spot of bother on Day 2 of their Ranji Trophy semifinal matches, here on Wednesday.

Tiwary (84 not out) and Shahbaz (72 not out) shared a vital unbeaten stand of 143 and took Bengal to 197/5 at stumps on Day 2 after. Though their stand reduced the deficit, Bengal are still trailing by 144 runs against Madhya Pradesh.

The day began with MP on 271 for 5, but Shahbaz (3/86) and Mukesh Kumar (4/66) combined to bowl out the opposition for 341. Himanshu Mantri top-scored for MP with 165.

In reply, Bengal found themselves in deep trouble at 54 for 5. Kumar Kartikeya picked a couple of wickets, with Saransh Jain and Puneet Datey picking the rest. From there on, Tiwary and Shahbaz joined forces to bring Bengal back in the game. The duo would look to build on the already substantial stand and gain the vital first innings lead on Thursday.

Mumbai v Uttar Pradesh

Meanwhile, the pace duo of Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande took a wicket each for Mumbai to leave Uttar Pradesh in a spot of bother at 25 for 2, still behind by 368 runs in the other semi-final.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (100) and Hardik Tamore (115) had set the platform for Mumbai on opening day. The start of Day 2 was delayed due to wet outfield.

When play finally resumed, Shams Mulani and Tamore looked to play with a degree of caution early on. However, as the day progressed, Tamore played a few aggressive shots against the likes of Ankit Rajpoot, Shivam Mavi and Saurabh Kumar. Eventually, Mulani fell for a well-measured fifty, with Karan Sharma taking his wicket.

Tamore then stitched another crucial stand of 40 with Tanush Kotian before the latter was dismissed by Saurabh. Thereafter, Mumbai had a mini collapse as they could add only seven more runs before being cleaned up for 393.

Karan, the UP skipper, finished with a four-for while the left-arm spinner Saurabh snared three wickets. However, UP couldn’t build on the momentum and lost the wickets of both Samarth Singh and Priyam Garg before close of play.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai v Uttar Pradesh : Mumbai 393 (Hardik Tamore 115 not out, Yashasvi Jaiswal 100; Karan Sharma 4-46) lead Uttar Pradesh 25/2 (Tushar Deshpande 1-10) by 368 runs

Bengal v Madhya Pradesh : Madhya Pradesh 341 (Himanshu Mantri 165, Akshat Raghuvanshi 63; Mukesh Kumar 4-66) lead Bengal 197/5 (Manoj Tiwary 84*, Shahbaz Ahmed 72*; Puneet Datey 2-34) by 144 runs

–Ajit Weekly News

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