BILASPUR ENTERED the semifinal crushing Lucknow by eight wickets in the Manish Agnihotri memorial all-India cricket tournament being played at the Old Campion grounds in Bhopal on Thursday. Apoorva Bhandari of Bilaspur was declared ‘man of the match’. It was the second consecutive comfortable win for Bilaspur.
Led by Apoorva Bhandari and P Vivek, the heroes of the yesterday’s match, Bilaspur flattened the challenge of 175 runs set by Lucknow.
The opening pair scored 78 runs. Man of the first match Apoorva Bhandari played with the same instinct as he scored 72 runs.
Bilaspur retained the same eleven that played against Nagpur on Wednesday. Bilaspur skipper Santosh Sahu won the toss and surprisingly elected to field first.
Repeating the performance, Bilaspur bowlers scalped the upper order cheaply. Such was the struggle for the Lucknow that the team lost five wickets for 75 runs.
But the useful partnership between Ranji player Shahid and skipper Manoj brought the team back on track. They scored 40 and 31 respectively. That team that struggled to touch the 100 run mark scored 175. For Bilaspur, Sushant Shukla and Dinesh Yadav took three and two wickets.
Chasing a modest target with an asking rate of almost 4.5 runs per over, Bilaspur scored with over six runs per over. Both stitched 78 runs for the first wicket.
Apporva completed his second half-century comfortably. However, Vivek unlucky to miss his half century as he lost his wicket when he required just two runs.
With the help good opening partnership, Bilaspur registered a thumping eight wickets win. CI Group managing director Rakesh Malik presented the man of the match trophy to Apporva. RK Agnihotri, BDCA vice president Aruneshwar Singhdeo, JP Tyagi, SK Agnihotri, Rajiv Saxena, Milin Sagorkar, Vinod Halve and others were present on the occasion.
Match on Friday
1. Indian Air Force vs Agra XI