Ranji Trophy: Assam make history after beating Punjab; join Mumbai, Saurashtra in semis
Madhya Pradesh are likely to become the fourth semi-finalists after setting a 788-run target against Bengal.
New Delhi: An inspired Assam team on Saturday defeated by favourites Punjab 51 runs to seal first ever Ranji Trophy semi-final spot. The north-east team will Mumbai and Saurashtra in the last-four.
Medium pacer Arup Das produced a brilliant spell of 8/83 as Assam took less than 20 minutes to complete the historic win on the fourth day's play. Punjab, needing 288 for victory were 224 for eight. But Assam got the two final two wickets in 3.2 overs with the addition of only 12 runs.
Brief Scores: Assam 323 & 101. Punjab 137 & (target 288) 236 all out (Gurkeerat Singh 64, Mayank Sidhana 43). Punjab won by 51 runs.
Meanwhile, 40-time winners Mumbai thwarted Jharkhand to register a massive 395-run victory with spinners Jay Bista and Iqbal Abdulla wrecking havoc in Mysore. The spinning duo took five wickets each to bowl out Jharkhand for a paltry 94 in the fourth innings.
Brief Scores: Mumbai: 416 (Herwadkar 107, Nayar 74, Nadeem 5/140) and 245 (Iyer 81, Quadri 5/62) beat Jharkhand: 172 (Kaushal 43, Herwadkar 3/26) and 94 (Bista 5/16, Abdulla 5/35) by 395 runs.
In another quarter-final match, Madhya Pradesh reduced Bengal to 113 for 3 after setting a massive 788-run target against Bengal at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Resuming at 338 for 5 in the second innings on the penultimate day, MP declared at 560 for 9 with Rajat Patidar and Harpreet Singh completing their respective tons.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh: 348 (Shrivastava 65, Ojha 64, Bundela 58, Harpreet 51; V.P. Singh 5/76) and 560 (Harpreet 139, Patidar 137, Bundela 72, Dane 69, Ojha 52) drew with Bengal: 121 (Easwaran 48; Pandey 4/45) and 113/3.
Yesterday, Saurashtra defeated Vidharba by an innings and 85 runs at Visakhapatnam to become the first team to book last-four spot this season.
In the semi-finals, Assam will face Saurashtra at Vadodara while Mumbai will play the winner of Madhya Pradesh-Bengal match in Cuttack. Both the matches will be held from February 13-17.
(With PTI inputs)