Millennium Post

Match evenly poised after Chandrakant Sakure takes five for Madhya Pradesh

Mumbai held a slight edge reducing Madhya Pradesh to 197 for five in their Ranji Trophy cricket semifinal after being bowled out for 371 in their first innings here on Sunday.

At stumps on the second day of the match at the DRIEMS Ground, Madhya Pradesh trailed by 174 runs with five wickets remaining. Mumbai were bowled out in 102.5 overs in their first essay after MP chose to bowl on winning the toss on day 1 on Saturday. Middle-order batsman Naman Ojha stood firm with a solid 79 off 182 balls, as Madhya Pradesh ended the day reasonably well placed after being 78 for four at one stage. Ojha found the fence 11 times during his unbeaten knock. The other contributors for Madhya Pradesh were Rajat Patidar (33) and Harpreet Singh (36), though they would be disappointed to miss out on big scores after settling down. 

The start was bad for MP, but three half-century stands for the third, fifth and sixth wicket steadied the ship. For the record, wicketkeeper Ojha was involved in all the partnerships.Ankit Dane (27 off 46) was giving Ojha company when the stumps were drawn. The 40-time Ranji Trophy champions were overnight 327 for seven with Siddesh Lad and Shardul Thakur at the crease.

While Lad added only three runs this morning to get out for 60, Thakur made 27 off 38 balls. 

Lad struck 11 fours during his 125-ball knock. Medium pacer Chandrakant Sakure was the most successful bowler for Madhya Pradesh, returning figures of five for 137 in 29.5 overs. On Saturday, Shreyas Iyer struck a sublime 90 to take Mumbai to 327 for seven. 

Iyer combined with opener Bhavin Thakkar (30) to share an 88-run stand before Aditya Tare (68) and Abhishek Nayar (43) played a handy knock to give their team a solid start to the semifinal.

Brief scores: Mumbai 371 all out in 102.5 overs (Iyer 90, Tare 68; Sidhhesh Lad 60; Chandrakant Sakure 5/137, Pandey 2/34) vs Madhya Pradesh: 197 for five 75 overs (Naman Ojha 79; Balwinder Sandhu 2.41).

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