Ranji Trophy: Delhi beats MP, storms into semifinals

Ranji Trophy: Delhi beats MP, storms into semifinals

The seasoned Gautam Gambhir struck a fine 95 and powered Delhi to the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy following a seven-wicket victory over Madhya Pradesh here in Vijaywada on Monday.

Delhi, which conceded the first innings to Mumbai when it last figured in the semi-final in January 2010, now plays Bengal in Pune from December 17.

Chasing 217 for a win, Gambhir led Delhi's charge striking 95, which comprised of nine boundaries and a six. Nitish Rana hoisted a six to signal Delhi's triumph, just 43 minutes into the second session.

Delhi: 405 all out in 119.4 overs (Kunal Chandela 81, Dhruv Shorey 78, Himmat Singh 71; Mihir Hirwani 5/89). Delhi were dealt an early blow when Tokas was sent back by medium pacer Ishwar Pandey with just 11 runs on the scoreboard. However, Gambhir and Kunal Chandela (57) put up a 98-run stand for the second wicket to set Delhi on course for a win.

In reply to Madhya Pradesh's 338 all out, Delhi's first innings ended at 405, after which they grabbed the wickets of Rajat Patidar and Ankit Dane to reduce MP to 47 for two at stumps on the third day.

Shorey joined Gambhir and the duo added 95 runs in just 22.4 overs before the former India opener departed. Gambhir, however, missed out on compiling his 42nd first class hundred as he was run-out. Chandela, Himmat Singh and Shorey followed it by essaying fifties to ensure Delhi gained a lead of 67.

MP skipper Devendra Bundela, 40, who has probably played his last first-class match, said, "We lost the plot in the first innings when we did not score well on a batting pitch".

Left-arm orthodox spinner Aditya Sarwate (6/41) claimed a six-wicket haul as Vidarbha posted a comfortable 412-run win over Kerala in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match in Surat and booked a semifinal berth.

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