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Ranji Trophy Quarterfinals | Madhya Pradesh in driver’s seat against Punjab; Shubham Sharma slams unbeaten ton

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Madhya Pradesh finished Day 2 with a 219-run lead over Punjab with eight first innings wickets in hand

Madhya Pradesh finished Day 2 with a 219-run lead over Punjab with eight first innings wickets in hand

After a splendid show from their bowlers on the opening day, it was the turn of Madhya Pradesh batters, led by Shubham Sharma (102 not out), to respond strongly against Punjab on Day 2 of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal game in Karnataka on Tuesday.

Responding to Punjab’s 219 on what appears to be a lifeless pitch, Madhya Pradesh rode on a strong start to their innings to reach 238 for two at stumps, a 19-run lead with eight first innings wickets in hand.

Both the openers, Yash Dubey and Himanshu Mantri frustrated the opposition bowlers.

With the pacers failing to get wickets, Punjab had to wait for leg-spinner Mayank Markande for the breakthrough. The 24-year-old did just that by dismissing Yash Dubey (20).

However, both Mantri and Shubham Sharma stitched a solid 120-run partnership for the second wicket to put MP in command against a toothless Punjab bowling attack.

The duo batted for close to 48 overs and inflicted maximum damage to the Punjab bowlers in the process.

As Markande came to Punjab’s rescue once again by removing Mantri (89), it was Sharma who continued with his brilliant and steady knock. The 28-year-old middle-order batsman slammed his sixth first class ton (102 not out), courtesy nine fours and a six, to put his side in command, with three days of play still to go.

For Punjab, the only consolation of the day was perhaps a tight bowling spell from Markande who also represented the Mumbai Indians in the recently concluded Indian Premier League.

Brief Scores:

Punjab: 219 all out in 71.3 overs (Abhishek Sharma 47, Anmolpreet Singh 47; Puneet Datey 3/48, Anubhav Agarwal 3/36).

Madhya Pradesh: 238/2 in 99 overs (Shubham Sharma 102 not out, Himanshu Mantri 89; Mayank Markande 2/70).



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