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)