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VCA NEWS: Vidarbha march into Ranji Trophy Semi Finals

Vidarbha marched into the last-four stage of the Ranji Trophy after grinding out a 127-run victory over Karnataka at the Civil Lines Stadium in Nagpur on Tuesday. Vidarbha will play Madhya Pradesh in the semi-final in Nagpur from March 2-6, 2024.

It is Vidarbha’s third appearance in the semi-final. Incidentally, the last two times they made the semi-final cut, Vidarbha had gone on to lift the trophy (2017-18 & 2018-19).

VCA President Justice Vinay M. Deshpande (former judge of Bombay High Court) congratulated the entire team for their fantastic effort. "You have done Vidarbha proud," Mr Deshpande said, wishing the players good luck for the semi-final.

Needing 268 runs more to clinch an outright victory with all second innings wickets intact, Karnataka batsmen threw it away in the first hour of the final day. They lost three wickets, slipping from 103/1 to 131/4.

The man who turned the game for Vidarbha was their veteran left-arm spinner Aditya Sarvate, who accounted for Karnataka’s top-four, including the prized scalp of skipper Mayank Agarwal who top-scored with 70.

Sarvate, who finished with match-figures of 7/128, was adjudged the Player of the Match. It was his third such medal in the tournament this season, having also won it against Haryana and Manipur. Sarvate is Vidarbha’s leading wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy this season with 37 scalps in his kitty @15.97.

Young Aditya Thakare has taken 31 wickets so far and spearheaded Vidarbha’s pace attack this season.

Once the cream of the batting was gone, Vidarbha closed in for the kill and Harsh Dubey, the other left-arm spinner in the side accounted for four other batsmen to send Karnataka packing. Dubey finished with figures of 4/65.

Yet, there was nothing alarming in the pitch which was borne out by the fact that Karnataka’s No. 9 Vijaykumar Vyshak batted for 37 balls in making 34 while No. 10 Vidwath Kaverappa played 29 balls for his 24. Karnataka’s cause was not helped by two run outs as their batsmen panicked under pressure.

Of the 40 wickets to fall in the match, 22 were accounted for by the pacers while spinners claimed 15.

Former India and Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who is representing Vidarbha as a professional player this season, is the leading run-scorer for his team with a tally of 515 in the tournament. Karun’s fellow professional Dhruv Shorey (ex-Delhi) has 496 and Vidarbha opener Atharva Taide, who made a patient 109 in the first innings, has 488.

Feb 23-27, 2024: VCA Civil Lines Stadium, Nagpur
Toss: Karnataka, elected to bowl first
Vidarbha 1st innings 460 all out 143.1 overs (Atharva Taide 109, Yash Rathod 93, Karun Nair 90; Kaverappa 4/99)
Karnataka 1st innings 286 all out 90.3 overs (R Samarth 59, Nikin Jose 82; Aditya Sarvate 3/50, Yash Thakur 3/48, Umesh Yadav 2/54)
Vidarbha 2nd innings 196 all out in 57.2 overs (Dhruv Shorey 57, Karun Nair 34; Kaverappa 6/61, Vyshak 4/81)
Karnataka 2nd innings 243 all out in 64.4 overs (Mayank Agarwal 70, R Samarth 40, Aneesh 40; Harsh Dubey 4/65, Aditya Sarvate 4/78)
Result: Vidarbha won by 127 runs

Vidarbha & Madhya Pradesh will be playing their 50th match in Ranji Trophy

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