Ranji Trophy semifinal: Chandrakant Pandit eyes victory against former side as Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh face off

Madhya Pradesh sealed a spot in the semifinals after a narrow win against Andhra while Vidarbha surprised Karnataka to earn its spot in the final four of Ranji Trophy 2023-24.

Published : Mar 01, 2024 21:02 IST , Nagpur - 2 MINS READ

Riding on the high of taking down heavyweight Karnataka in the quarterfinals, Vidarbha will look to deny Madhya Pradesh (MP) its second final in three years when the two teams face off in the first Ranji Trophy semifinal at the VCA Stadium (Civil Lines) here from Saturday.

Aditya Sarwate and Harsh Dubey triggered a Karnataka batting meltdown on the final day, leading Vidarbha into the final four after five years. MP, meanwhile, scraped to a narrow four-run victory against Andhra to continue its bid for a second title under gaffer Chandrakant Pandit.

The colossal First-Class coach, Pandit, pitted against his former side Vidarbha, which he led to back-to-back titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19, serves an enticing sub-plot to the contest.

ALSO READ: Ranji Trophy semifinal: Shreyas Iyer in focus as Mumbai looks to derail Sai Kishore’s Tamil Nadu

Himanshu Mantri and Yash Dubey have set the tone at the top for MP. The duo has notched up 500 runs each this season and contributed three hundred-plus opening-wicket partnerships.

But MP’s collapse from 123 for no loss to 159 for seven in the first innings against Andhra in the quarterfinal was symptomatic of its middle-order frailties, which have been masked by all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer.

The colossal First-Class coach, Pandit (who is with Madhya Pradesh now), pitted against his former side Vidarbha, which he led to back-to-back titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19, serves an enticing sub-plot to the contest.
The colossal First-Class coach, Pandit (who is with Madhya Pradesh now), pitted against his former side Vidarbha, which he led to back-to-back titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19, serves an enticing sub-plot to the contest. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar / The Hindu
lightbox-info

The colossal First-Class coach, Pandit (who is with Madhya Pradesh now), pitted against his former side Vidarbha, which he led to back-to-back titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19, serves an enticing sub-plot to the contest. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar / The Hindu

Venkatesh has managed to salvage his side from precarious situations with aplomb, scoring 528 runs at a strike rate of 82.28.

The southpaw will have a favourable match-up against the left-arm off-spin of Sarwate, Vidarbha’s leading wicket-taker this season with 37 scalps, and will again be tasked with holding things together for MP.

For Vidarbha, Atharva Taide’s coming-of-age century against Karnataka in the last-eight round assured that the 23-year-old can fill in the big shoes of Faiz Fazal. But its imports, Dhruv Shorey and Karun Nair will shoulder the major share of the side’s batting hopes.

ALSO READ: Shreyas Iyer doesn’t need encouragement to perform, says Mumbai captain Rahane

Vidarbha could have benefitted from Jitesh Sharma’s firepower in the lower-middle order, but the wicketkeeper-batter has featured just once in eight games so far. In his stead, captain Akshay Wadkar’s six half-centuries have been valuable.

Kumar Kartikeya’s 32 wickets proved crucial when MP clinched the crown in 2022. The left-arm off-spinner has managed 38 this season, the most for his side. With help from pacers Avesh Khan and Kulwant Khejroliya, MP can pose a threat to the home team’s batting.

More on Domestic

  1. Women’s Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy 2024 Final: East Zone beats South by one wicket on day three in a thrilling fashion
  2. Women’s Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy 2024 Final: “Want to finish as winners and not participants” says South Zone coach Diana David
  3. Women’s Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy 2024 Final: East Zone 154 runs away from title after spinners dominate second day’s play
  4. Women’s Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy 2024: East Zone crushes North by 135 runs, to meet South in final
  5. Women’s Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy 2024: East turns the tables on North, South takes first-innings lead against West in semis
READ MORE STORIES

Latest on Sportstar

  1. Chess Candidates 2024 Live Updates, Round 7: Vidit errs vs Abasov; Praggnanandhaa vs Caruana ends in draw; Firouzja beats Gukesh; Vaishali loses to Tingjie
  2. Praggnanandhaa vs Fabiano Caruana, FIDE Chess Candidates 2024: Round 7 match updates, live board
  3. Vidit Gujrathi vs Nijat Abasov, FIDE Chess Candidates 2024: Round 7 match updates, live board
  4. Gukesh vs Alireza Firouzja, FIDE Chess Candidates 2024: Round 7 match updates, live board
  5. MI vs RCB, IPL 2024: Royal Challengers Bengaluru no match for Mumbai Indians
READ MORE STORIES
Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment