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March 6, 2012
Half-centuries by Wriddhiman Saha and Anustup Majumdar and a five-wicket haul by Ashok Dinda helped Bengal seal their berth in the semi-finals after beating Madhya Pradesh by 15 runs at the Palam A Ground. Bengal chose to bat first in a match reduced to 45 overs to fog. Manoj Tiwary propped Bengal with 48 after the top order failed. Saha joined him after the fall of the third wicket and added 75 in 12 overs. Saha departed for 53, off 52 balls with six fours. Madhya Pradesh hit back with two quick strikes, reducing Bengal to 154 for 6. Majumdar then made a quick 55 off 57 balls to lift the score to 230. Early strikes by Dinda and Laxmi Shukla reduced Madhya Pradesh to 42 for 4 by the 12th over. Harpreet Singh was involved in two middle-order stands of 52 and 48 but it wasn't enough to carry his team through. Dinda claimed three lower-order wickets to finish with 5 for 54.
For the second day in succession, Feroz Shah Kotla played host to another one-sided game, this time with Mumbai trouncing Karnataka by nine wickets to advance to the semis. A combined bowling effort by Mumbai, led by the seamer Kshemal Waingankar, sent Karnataka crashing to 178. Waingankar's early strikes reduced the opposition to 57 for 6 before Sunil Raju and Raju Bhatkal led a slow recovery. Waingankar finished with fine figures of 3 for 19 from ten overs, while Ankeet Chavan took 2 for 29. Karnataka used seven bowlers, but none could control the Mumbai top order which reached the target before the 30th over. Wasim Jaffer made a 61-ball 68, while Ajinkya Rahane remained unbeaten on 71.
Rahane credited Jaffer for helping him back to form. "I had the belief that I was only one innings away from finding form and things get easier when you have such an experienced player batting with you," Rahane told IANS.
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