Jaipur: Himachal Pradesh registered a comprehensive victory of five wickets over star-studded Uttar Pradesh and entered into the semi-final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021.

Chasing a target of 209, Himachal won the match comfortably in 45.3 overs. Himachal opener Prashant Chopra contributed a steady 99 in 141 balls, while Nikhil Gangta played an explosive 58 in 59 balls and denied Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shivam Mavi and Ankit Rajpoot led Uttar Pradesh fast bowling attack to defend the low total.

Himachal, after winning the toss, elected bowling first. Fast bowler Vinay Galetiya bowled a fantastic spell with the new ball and reduced Uttar Pradesh to 39/4 in the 15th over. Vinay took three wickets in his 10 over and conceded only 19 runs.

Uttar Pradesh seasoned campaigner Rinku Singh tried to balance the inning and made a fantastic 76. He was supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who made 46 and managed to post a respectable total of 208 in 50 over.

For Himachal, besides Vinay, Siddarth and Pankaj Jaiswal took two wickets each, while captain Rishi Dhawan took one wicket.

Himachal opener Prashant Chopra and Shubham Arora started cautiously and build a 54 run opening partnership in 17 overs. Shubham made 19 in 39 balls inning and after his departure, on Shivam Mavi ball Nikhil Gangta joined senior campaigner Prashant and took control of the proceedings.

They added 122 runs for the second wicket to put Himachal in the driver’s seat.

Nikhil Gangta played a crucial knock of 58. In his inning, Gangta hit 3 sixes and 5 fours. Opener batter Prashant Chopra made 99 before he was bowled by Mavi.

Although Chopra missed out on a well-deserved century, his innings made sure Himachal are through to the next stage.

This is the second time Himachal Pradesh has reached the semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.