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SMAT: Bihar impresses on big stage even as Mahipal Lomror takes Rajasthan to semis

Bihar cricket team impressed on the big stage of Indian domestic cricket as they put on a brave fight against a much-fancied Rajasthan side in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Mahipal Lomror was the hero for Rajasthan as he single-handedly took his team to 164 which seemed very difficult at one stage with all the main players in the pavilion at the score of  119 in 17 overs. The left-hander hit the last 39 of his 78 runs in just 14 balls of the last three overs at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium in Motera.

Bihar, for the first time in their 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign were chasing a total of more than 120 and had a great first over to begin the chase as Babul Kumar hit Aakash Singh for three boundaries. But after that, it was a bit of a struggle as the run rate slowed down and Babul got run out as well. Mangal Mahrour, who had dropped a precious catch of Mahipal Lomror in the first innings then tried to up the ante, but wickets fell in regular intervals and derailed his onslaught. 

In the end, wicket-keeper batsman Vikash Yadav, who impressed all with his brilliant catch to remove the Rajasthan skipper Ashok Menaria, scored a quick 27 off 17 to keep Bihar in the hunt with 36 required from two overs. But that wasn’t enough as the team finally fell short by 16 runs in the end. 

Earlier in the day, Bihar skipper Ashutosh Aman won the toss and decided to send Rajasthan to bat first. The decision was backed by his bowlers as they restricted Rajasthan to only 119 till the 17 overs even the openers made a 59 run stand. Aman was the pick of the bowlers as he picked two wickets before being clubbed for three sixes in the final over of the innings as Mahrour dropped Lomror in that over. Aman with these two wickets is now the leading wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 with 16 scalps from six games.

Rajasthan have now made it to the semi-finals and would face Tamil Nadu on 29th January.

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