Alur (Karnataka) [India], June 18 (ANI): Heroics of Himanshu Mantri (165 and 21) and Kumar Kartikeya (3/61 and 5/67) put Madhya Pradesh in their first Ranji Trophy finals since 1998-99, after they defeated Bengal by 174 runs in the semi-finals.
In the finals, they will face off against Mumbai, who are 41-time champions. It is Mumbai's 47th final overall and their first since 2016-17.
MP elected to bat first and put 341/10 on the board, largely powered by the efforts of Mantri (165), Akshat Raghuwanshi (63). Medium-pacer Mukesh Kumar (4/66) and all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed (3/86) shined with the ball for Bengal.
In the second innings, Bengal were bundled out for 273. The batting display was sub-par except for Manoj Tiwary (102) and Shahbaz Ahmed (116). Spinners Kumar Kartikeya (3/61) and Saransh Jain (3/63) and pacer Puneet Datey (3/48) were stars for MP with the ball.
In the next innings, MP started off with a 68-run lead. Knocks from Rajat Patidar (79) and captain Aditya Shrivastava (82) helped the side reach 281/10, setting a target of 350 runs for Bengal. Shahbaz Ahmed took an impressive 5/79.
Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran (78) was the lone warrior during the chase as the rest of the side could not handle Kartikeya (5/67), Gaurav Yadav (3/19) and Saransh Jain (2/69) and were bundled out for 175, handing out a 174 run win to MP.
Mantri was named 'Man of the Match' for his 165 and 21.
On the other hand in the second semi-final, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh had a draw, with Mumbai advancing to the finals on basis of their first-innings lead.
Put to bat first, Mumbai scored 393/10 in the first innings, with Yashasvi Jaiswal (100) and keeper batter Hardik Tamore (115) scoring hundreds. Spinner Karan Sharma (4/46) and Saurabh Kumar (3/107) did well for UP with the ball.
In the second innings, UP were skittled out for 180, with bowler Shivam Mavi top-scoring with 48. Medium-pacers Tushar Deshpande (3/34) and Mohit Avasthi (3/39) were stars for Mumbai with the ball.
Before the match concluded to a draw on basis of the 213-run first-innings lead gained by Mumbai, they had scored 533/4. Captain Prithvi Shaw (64), Yashasvi Jaiswal (181), Armaan Jaffer (127), Sarfaraz Khan (59*) and Shams Mulani (51*) shined for their side with the bat.
This also took Mumbai to their 47th Ranji final and their first since 2016-17.
Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 341 and 281 (Rajat Patidar 79, Aditya Shrivastava 82, Shahbaz Ahmed 5/79) defeated Bengal 273 and 175 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 78, Shahbaz Ahmed 22*, Kumar Kartikeya 5/67) by 174 runs.
Mumbai 393 and 533/4 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 181, Armaan Jaffer 127, Prince Yadav 2/92) draw against Uttar Pradesh 180 (Shivam Mavi 48, Madhav Kaushik 38, Tushar Deshpande 3/34). (ANI)