MP survive late scare, earn three points

Indore: Madhya Pradesh survived a late scare to earn three crucial points on the basis of their 158-run first innings lead on the fourth and final day of their group A Plate division match against Goa, at the Holkar Stadium here on Thursday.

Resuming at an overnight score of 268 for three, Goa declared their second innings at 423 for seven, setting the hosts a target of 265 runs in 35 overs.

Vaibhav Naik 65 not out (116b, 4x11) led the visitors’ charge on Thursday and ensured that the team crossed the 400-run mark. Naik got support from Shadab Jakati (17) and Robin D’Souza (36 not out).

Overnight batsmen Ajay Ratra (47) and Rahul Keni (35) too made useful contributions.

For MP, Ishwar Pandey and S Abbas Ali were the pick of the bowlers ending with figures of 3-64 and 2-50 respectively.

Madhya Pradesh went for an outright win and got a blazing start with openers Naman Ojha 62 (50b, 4x5, 6x4) and Zafar Ali 68 (59b, 4x7, 6x2) adding 134 runs for the first wicket in just 17.4 overs.

However, after the dismissal of Ojha, who was bowled by Jakati, MP lost their way and from 134 for no loss, they collapsed to 161-8.

Spinners S Vidyut (4-13) and Jakati (2-64), and Amit Yadav (2-18) did most of the damage as MP lost eight wickets in little over 18 overs and for the addition of just 27 runs.

However, Abbas Ali 13 not out (57m, 35b, 4x2) held fort at one end to ensure that MP walked away with three useful points.