Anubhav Agrawal's 6-Wicket Haul Propels MP Into Ranji Semis

Anubhav Agrawal's 6-Wicket Haul Propels MP Into Ranji Semis

The match was a true test of skill, determination, and nerves as it swung back and forth, with both teams having their moments.

Milind R LashkariUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 01:41 PM IST
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Madhya Pradesh team errupted into the joy after defeating Andhra Pradesh by four runs here at Indore's Holkar Stadium on Monday. | Pintu Namdev

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): In a nail-biting finish, Madhya Pradesh emerged victorious over Andhra Pradesh by a mere four-run margin, securing their spot in the Ranji Trophy semifinals. The hero of the match was Anubhav Agrawal, whose exceptional bowling performance, scalping six wickets, played a pivotal role in his team's thrilling win here at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.

The match was a true test of skill, determination, and nerves as it swung back and forth, with both teams having their moments.

In a thrilling encounter, Andhra's chase started on a shaky note, losing their opener early with just 20 runs on the board. However, Nitish Kumar Reddy and Hanuma Vihari steadied the ship with a partnership of 36 runs for the third wicket.

Anubhav Agarwal struck for Madhya Pradesh by dismissing Nitish Kumar Reddy for 20 runs, and soon after, Saransh Jain removed Andhra skipper Ricky Bhui for 9 runs. Karan Shinde and Vihari then added 31 runs for the fifth wicket, but Karan's dismissal revived Madhya Pradesh's hopes.

Andhra Pradesh then lost four quick wickets, collapsing from 112 for 4 to 129 for 8. With 41 runs needed to win and only two wickets in hand, Girinath Reddy fought hard, scoring 15 runs off 42 balls. However, Anubhav Agarwal struck again, taking Girinath's wicket at a crucial juncture.

With just one wicket needed for victory, Madhya Pradesh's Khejroliya dismissed Ashwin Hebbar for 22 runs, securing a hard-fought win for his team. Hanuma Vihari top-scored for Andhra with 55 runs, while Anubhav Agarwal was the wrecker-in-chief for Madhya Pradesh, taking six wickets for 52 runs in 19 overs.

Earlier, after winning the toss, Madhya Pradesh elected to bat first and put 234 runs on board in the first inning.

In the innings, Madhya Pradesh got off to a solid start, with their top order batsmen showing great form and resilience. However, Andhra Pradesh fought back valiantly, with their bowlers putting up a spirited performance to restrict Madhya Pradesh to a competitive total of 234 runs in the first inning.

In response, Andhra Pradesh did not started well, with four of their top-order batsmen returned to pavilion. However, middle order and lower order put some strong resistance and took Andhra score 172 runs.

Madhya Pradesh's bowlers, led by Anubhav Agarwal and Kumar Kartikeya kept chipping away at the wickets, not allowing Andhra Pradesh to settle. Bot Anubhav and Kumar scalped three wickets each.

After securing a crucial 62-run lead in the first innings, Madhya Pradesh had high hopes for a strong second innings performance.

However, their aspirations were dashed as they lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually bowled out for just 107 runs in 40.5 overs.

The team's batsmen struggled to build partnerships and failed to convert starts into substantial scores, resulting in a disappointing total.

Opener Himanshu Mantri emerged as the top scorer for Madhya Pradesh, showcasing resilience with a commendable 43 runs off 107 deliveries. However, the rest of the team faltered, with only Venkatesh Iyer and Sumit Kushwah managing to reach the double-figure mark, scoring 17 and 12 runs respectively.

Madhya Pradesh posing for group photo after entering into the Ranji Trophy semifinals.

Madhya Pradesh posing for group photo after entering into the Ranji Trophy semifinals. | Pintu Namdev

Andhra's bowling attack proved to be the game-changer, with Nitish Kumar Reddy leading the charge by claiming four crucial wickets. Lalith Mohan and KV Sasikanth also made significant contributions, taking three wickets each and restricting Madhya Pradesh to a modest total.

As the match entered its final stages, it was clear that it would be a close finish.

The victory sparked scenes of jubilation among the Madhya Pradesh players and fans, who celebrated their team's hard-fought win. The match will be remembered as one of the most thrilling encounters in recent Ranji Trophy history, highlighting the competitive spirit and talent in Indian domestic cricket.

SCOREBOARD

MADHYA PRADESH I INNINGS: 234 all out in 81.1 overs

ANDHRA PRADESH I INNINGS: 172 all out in 68.3 overs

MADHYA PRADESH II INNINGS: 107 all out in 40.5 overs

ANDHRA PRADESH II INNINGS (Target 170 runs): Revanth Reddy † c †Mantri b Agarwal 9, Prasanth Kumar b Kartikeya 6, Nitish Kumar Reddy c Kushwah b Agarwal 20, Hanuma Vihari c †Mantri b Agarwal 55, Ricky Bhui (c) b Jain 9, Karan Shinde lbw b Agarwal 14, Ashwin Hebbar lbw b Khejroliya 22, Shoaib Md Khan lbw b Agarwal 0, KV Sasikanth c Dubey b Khejroliya 7, Girinath Reddy c †Mantri b Agarwal 15, Lalith Mohan not out 1

EXTRAS: 7 (b 1, lb 4, w 2)

TOTAL: 165 all out in 69.2 overs

FALLS: 1-14, 2-20, 3-56, 4-81, 5-112, 6-118, 7-118, 8-129, 9-161, 10-165

BOWLING: Avesh Khan 12-3-27-0, Anubhav Agarwal 19-1-52-6, Kulwant Khejroliya 17.2-2-40-2, Kumar Kartikeya 14-1-34-1, Saransh Jain 7-2-7-1

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