Vidarbha dished out a disciplined bowling performance to register a dominant nine-wicket win over Rajasthan and entered the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Thursday. Electing to field, Vidarbha bowlers put in splendid show to restrict Rajasthan to a sub-par 84/8 in 20 overs before their batters, led by opener Atharva Taide (40 not out off 42 balls), chased down the target with 5.1 overs to spare. Rajasthan lost openers Yash Kothari (1) and Arjit Gupta (0), who was run out by Ganesh Satish, cheaply inside the first two overs and were reeling at 2/2.
It soon became 18/4, as Vidarbha struck again twice. Speedster Darshan Nalkande (1/8) removed rival skipper Mahipal Lomror (11) while young pacer Yash Thakur (2/24) dismissed the in-form Deepak Hooda (3), who was caught by Akshay Wadkar.
The Vidarbha bowlers kept making inroads and did not allow the Rajasthan batters to set in. Only Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s patient 39 off 48 balls ensured that his team crossed the 80-run mark, but that was not going to be enough.
For Vidarbha, Thakur was well supported by fellow pacers Lalit Yadav (1/12) and Nalkande. In-form left-arm orthodox spinner Akshay Karnewar returned with fine figures of 1/7 in his four overs, while seasoned off-spinner Akshay Wakhare (1/21) and left-arm orthodox bowler Atharva Taide (1/9) also played their parts to perfection.
Chasing 85, Vidarbha openers Taide and Ganesh Satish (28 off 33 balls) laid the foundation of the win with their 63-run stand. They took on a listless Rajasthan attack with gusto.
While Taide hammered four boundaries, Satish also hit as many fours. After Satish fell in the 11th over, Taide romped the team home in company of skipper Akshay Wadkar (11 not out). Vidarbha await their semifinal opponents.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 84/8 (Kamlesh Nagarkoti 39 not out, Suraj Ahuja 12; Yash Thakur 2/24, Akshay Karnewar 1/7) lost to Vidarbha 87/1(Atharva Taide 40 not out, Ganesh Satish 28; AV Choudhary 1/4) by nine wickets.
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