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Ranji Trophy semis: Bengal cruise past Madhya Pradesh to reach the finale

image-le16hcugBengal batters laid the foundation for a big win [Twitter]

Bengal kept their Ranji title dream alive as they thrashed a helpless Madhya Pradesh by a whopping 306 runs in the semis to reach their 14th Ranji final.

It won't be an understatement to say that Bengal outplayed their opponent in all three departments of the game. Despite a brave effort by the MP batters, the target of 548 was a daunting task and they fell short eventually.

Bengal already had a mammoth lead of 268 runs to play with, and they piled on another 279 runs to give a challenging total to MP, on a track that slowed down as the game progressed.

Anustup Majumdar showed a batting masterclass as the right-handed batter smashed a brilliant 80 in the second innings, to go along with a cracking ton in the first innings.

It was surprising to see Madhya Pradesh take the aggressive route in the second innings. They knew defending every ball will cost them wickets at regular intervals, and playing aggressively is their only chance to survive in the contest. The only issue was, every batter got a start, but failed to convert that into a big total.

Rajat Patidar (52), Yash Dubey (30), and Aditya Shrivastava (29) all looked set for a big score, but threw their wickets away at crucial junctures. The target became an impossible mision and they were bundled out for a mere 241.

Pradipta Pramanik was the star with the ball in the second innings for Bengal, picking up 5 wickets.

Akash Deep was adjudged the Player of the Match, for his six wickets across two innings.