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Bangalore’s star batter scores hundred and picks a five-for in Ranji Semi-Final

Shahbaz Ahmed is playing for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy semi-final game against Madhya Pradesh

The ongoing Ranji Trophy 2022 semi-final between Bengal and Madhya Pradesh has been an exciting one so far. The game has shifted from one team to another with the winner to be determined on June 18, i.e the last day of the game. Notably, Madhya Pradesh has an upper hand after picking four wickets till the end of Day Four of the second innings.

Meanwhile, during the game, Shahbaz Ahmed, who played for Bangalore in the Indian T20 League 2022, picked a fifer and scored a hundred. This is a rare feat in the game. In the first innings, Ahmed came out to bat when the team was tottering at 54/5, in reply to MP’s 341. The left-hander scored 116 runs including 12 fours and took the team to a respectable total of 273, alongside Manoj Tiwari (102).

Trailing by 68 runs, Bengal bowled out MP for 281 runs, thanks to Ahmed’s fifer and Pradipta Pramanik’s four-for. Meanwhile, they couldn’t stop the opposition from setting the target of 350 runs for the fourth innings. The duo didn’t get enough support from other bowlers. Chasing a daunting target, the Abhimanyu Easwaran-led side is 96/4 before the stumps were called on Day Four.

Skipper Easwaran is batting on 52 while Anustup Majumdar is on eight. The team needs 254 runs to win on the last day. The next batter would be Shahbaz Ahmed if the fifth wicket falls on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if Ahmed can pull off another game just like he did alongside Dinesh Karthik in the Indian T20 League 2022. It won’t be easy for him though as the pitch has deteriorated with Kumar Kartikeya taking three wickets.

Fans would remember the spinner playing Mumbai in the 15th season of the cash-rich league. On the other hand, Manoj Tiwary, who scored a hundred in the first innings, got out to Karthikeya for seven runs. The winner of the game will possibly play Mumbai in the final. Thus it will be exciting to see which team comes on top towards the end.

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