Rajasthan will meet Tamil Nadu in the first semi-final on Friday
Rajasthan 164 for 5 (Lomror 78*, Aman 2-31) beat Bihar 148 for 4 (Mahrour 68*, Bishnoi 1-34) by 16 runs
Bihar’s spirited fight was extinguished by a much-experienced Rajasthan, who became the fourth semi-finalist at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They will play Tamil Nadu, last year’s runners-up in the first semi-final on Friday, with Punjab clashing against Baroda later that evening.
Victory was set-up by Mahipal Lomror, who smashed an unbeaten 37-ball 78 at No. 4 to inject momentum and respectability to Rajasthan’s batting show. Openers Bharat Sharma and Ankit Lamba made 38 apiece too, as Rajasthan posted a competitive 164 for 5 after Ashok Menaria elected to bat.
Lomror, who equalled his previous best of 78, steered the innings after the openers fell in quick succession. He smashed five fours and as many sixes, after coming in to bat in the 10th over.
Bihar opted to preserve wickets in the first half and then attempt a heist. They were helped along the way by Babul Kumar (24), Mangal Mahrour, who finished unbeaten on 68 off 58 balls and Vikash Yadav (27 off 17 balls)
They got into a position from where they needed 45 off the last three overs with a set Mahrour looking to do the unthinkable, but perhaps they left themselves with a little too much to do.
Khaleel Ahmed, the left-arm pace spearhead, conceded only eight off the penultimate over to leave Bihar with 27 off the last over, which was a tad too many. They eventually fell short by 16 runs.
However, Bihar will take back with them the experience of having come through a tough qualifying pool, winning all their five games in the league phase. They may just wonder if they left things for a little too late on the flight home.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo