Maharashtra eye final

It will be a battle between a top-notch batting line-up against a quality seam attack when Maharashtra, with the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Zol, take on the Laxmi Ratan Shukla-led Bengal in the Ranji Trophy semifinals, starting here on Saturday.

Bengal, who have been a surprise package in the campaign, peaked at the right time defeating Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Railways in three back-to back matches while Maharashtra recorded an inspirational eight-wicket win against defending champions Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium in the quarters. 

Ashok Dinda (37 wickets), Shib Shankar Paul (17 wickets) and all-rounder Saurasish Lahiri (249 runs and 20 wickets) will hold the key for Bengal as they come up against the likes of Kedar Jadhav (1034 runs), Harshad Khadiwale (944) and Vijay Zol (516).  

The trio of Jadhav, Khadiwale and Zol have contributed a total of 2494 runs, while Dinda, Paul and swing bowler Sourav Sarkar have takes 69 wickets between them.  

The pressure is immense on this Bengal team as they have reached the last-four stage for the first time since their back-to-back final appearances in the 2005-06 and 06-07 season.The Holkar strip is a hard deck where the ball is expected to come onto the bat.

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