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Bengal face Madhya Pradesh with aim to clinch Ranji final spot

7th February 2023
High on confidence after a third straight Ranji Trophy semifinal berth, a jubilant Bengal team will aim to go all guns blazing to seal a place in the final when they take on defending champions Madhya Pradesh in the last four clash at the Holkar Stadium in Indore starting on Wednesday.
The Laxmi Ratan Shukla-coached side, who outclassed Jharkhand by nine wickets in the quarters at home, will aim to keep their dream alive of winning the coveted trophy since their triumph in 1989-90 season.
Come Wednesday, it will be time for revenge for the visitors. These two sides met in the semifinals in the last season as well, where MP came out victorious by a big margin.
Although the home side will have a slight edge over their opponents, Bengal are well prepared in all the departments to tackle the tough challenge thrown at them.
The Manoj Tiwary-led side will take a lot of positives going into the crucial clash most importantly being the rich-form of top order batters Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Kumar Gharami.
But the opening combination will change again as spin all-rounder Karan Lal will come in place of Kazi Junaid Saifi to open the innings along with Easwaran.
The middle order will once again rely heavily on the experienced duo of Anustup Majumdar and captain Manni.
In the bowling department, besides Shahbaz Ahmed and Akash Ghatak, the in-form pace duo of Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep will surely pose a threat to the MP batters.
While it will be a toss-up between Ishan Porel and Pradipta Pramanick for the final slot.
On the other hand, Aditya Shrivastava-led Madhya Pradesh side, who beat Andhra by 5 wickets in the quarters, will be aiming to seal a place in the final and defend their title. With the likes of Rajat Patidar and Himanshu Mantri on their side, MP look a strong batting unit.
An in-form Avesh Khan, with 36 wickets in the season, will spearhead the MP bowling attack.

Arindam Basu