Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Bihar Review


Bihar - Ranji Plate League Champions
That has a nice ring to it.

Bihar were placed in the 6 team Plate Group. After finishing 4th in the group stage, the Ashutosh Aman lead side upped the ante and registered comprehensive victories in the semi-finals and finals to be crowned the inaugural Plate League winners of the Ranji Trophy. And they also got the much-awaited promotion to the Elite League next year!

Here is a game-by-game review of the season

Game 1: Arunachal Pradesh 212 & 84 lost to Bihar 517 by an innings & 221 runs
Points: Bihar 7, Arunachal Pradesh 0
  • First Class Debut: Baljeet Singh Bihari, Adhiraj Johri
  • Adhiraj Johri – 118, Century on Debut
  • Sachin Kumar – 156, 1st First Class Century & Player of the Match
  • Malay Raj – 2/48 & 5/35, 1st 5-wicket haul
Game 2: Bihar 311 & 287/9d drew with Manipur 296 & 248/8
Points: Bihar 3, Manipur 1
  • Babul Kumar – 156, 4th First Class Century
  • Malay Raj – 5/35, 2nd 5-wicket haul
Game 3: Bihar 264 & 99 lost to Meghalaya 167 & 200/6 by 4 wickets
Points: Bihar 0, Meghalaya 6
  • First Class Debut – Anuj Raj, Raghuvendra Pratap Singh
  • Bipin Saurabh – 107 in 1st innings; 1st First Class century
Game 4: Sikkim 157 & 122/4 drew with Bihar 157
Points: Bihar 1, Sikkim 1
  • Veer Pratap Singh – 5/30, 4th 5-wicket haul
Game 5: Bihar 474 drew with Mizoram 176 & 379/6 (f/o)
Points: Bihar 3, Mizoram 1
  • First Class Debut: Varun Raj
  • Babul Kumar – 209, 5th First class century
  • Shivam Singh – 110, 1st First class century
Bihar finished 4th in the Group Stage and met group toppers Meghalaya in the Semi-Finals

Plate League Semi-Final: Bihar 428 & 164 beat Meghalaya 134 & 156 by 302 runs and qualified for the Elite League next season
  • First Class Debut: Nawaz Khan
  • Bipin Saurabh – 177 in the 1st innings, 2nd First-class century
  • Ashutosh Aman – 150 first-class wickets
Plate League Final: Bihar 546 & 335 beat Manipur 337 & 224 by 220 runs
  • Sakibul Gani – 205 in 1st innings, 3rd First-class century, 1,000 career runs in 10th game
  • Sachin Kumar – 132 in 2nd innings, 2nd First-class century
  • Bipin Saurabh – 155 in 1st innings, 3rd First-class century
  • Nazwaz Khan – 5/82 & 5/95, 1st & 2nd 5-wicket haul and 1st 10-wicket haul
Season Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Sakibul Gani: 585 @53.18, 1x100, 3x50
  2. Sachin Kumar: 562 @51.09, 2x100, 2x50
  3. Bipin Saurabh: 521 @47.36, 3x100, 1x50
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Ashutosh Aman: 28 @21.25,
  2. Sachin Kumar: 20 @24.35
  3. Veer Pratap Singh: 16 @24.94, 1x5
Top Score: Babul Kumar 209 vs Mizoram
Best Bowling: Veer Pratap Singh 5/30 vs Sikkim
Players Used: 24
First Class Debuts: 6

Overall, a good season for Bihar with Sachin Kumar being their best player closely followed by Bipin Saurabh. Looking forward to the next season in the Elite Leagues now!

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Twenty22 LineUp

We are already a few days into 2023 and the laws of cricket have been called into question in the Big Bash League. Before the year gets too far ahead, here is looking back at the year gone by. 2022 was a packed year for cricket with many countries clearing their covid backlogs. It was also the year in which we moved away from Covid with players participating actively in games even after testing positive. A far cry from the days when even those who had potentially come in close contact with them had to be put in isolation.

Here is presenting the Slipstream XI for 2022!

1. Cricketing Term of the Year – BazBall
BazBall is the real deal. Winning multiple improbable 4th innings chases, taking out a dead Rawalpindi pitch and bad light out of the equation, England are showing that Test cricket can be played differently! This after a horror start to the year after another pounding in Australia in the Ashes!

2. The Question of the Laws
Ben Stokes took a DRS Review after being given caught behind. Replays showed ball missed bat, hit the stumps but the bails did not fall off. Given not out on review, everyone had a hearty laugh, but it once again brings into question of LBW is a valid form of dismissal at all?

3. Coach of the Year
Given the headline dominating BazBall, Brendon McCullum should have been a cert for this award. But it goes to the other England coach, Matthew Mott, who in 2022, first lead the Australian women to an ODI World Championship and followed it up by leading the England Men to a T20 World Championship!

4. The Perseverance Award
12 Years after his Test debut, Jaydev Unadkat got to play his second Test for India. He may never play again, but what a story it has been, toiling year after year on the domestic circuit, and finally getting his second Test cap, and first wicket

5. The cricketing moment of the Year
There were a few contenders - Virat Kohli hitting that six off Haris Rauf (18.5), Stuart Broad conceding 35 runs in an over to Jasprit Bumrah, surreal scenes in BPL where the fielder’s throw hit both sets of stumps and the second one was runout. But the most talked about incident turned out to be Deepti Sharma running out Charlie Dean at the non-strikers end. The so called guardians of “Spirit of Cricket” were all up in arms on social media, where the debate raged on and on. The players themselves moved on fast with Deam attempting a run-out the very next day. Only issue was the non-striker had her feet firmly plonked behind the line!

6. Rivalry of the Year
Move over the Ashes, India-Pakistan, England-West Indies or even the Naagin rivalry (Sri Lanka – Bangladesh for the uninitiated). There is a new rivalry in town which has in origins in a Mr. Bean’s Pakistani duplicate being sent to an agriculture event in Zimbabwe a few years back! It came to light only in the T20 World Cup clash between Zimbabwe and Pakistan (won by Zimbabwe). Such was the storm on social media that even the Heads of States of both countries got involved!

7. Friendship of the Year
On the other hand, there were the Argentine fans of Bangladesh cricket, who were reciprocating their support after learning that there were more Albiceleste fans in Bangladesh than in Argentina itself. Result – Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s series winning exploits against India were also written in Spanish across the interwebs! That is one interesting way to grow the game.

8. Karma bites back
In the Ranji Trophy pre-quarter finals, Jharkhand batted on and on, scored 880 runs, shot out Nagaland for 289, then batted again and declared at 417 taking a lead of 1008 runs (first 4-digit lead in first class history). However in their very next game, they were at the receiving end. In the Quarter-finals, Bengal batted first scored 773, shot out Jharkhand for 298 and then batted again to pile up 318 runs. Just a small lead of 796 runs!

9. Ypu Gate
A journalist threatening an international cricketer and getting caught by his typos. Well done Wriddhiman Saha for exposing one rotten apple. But one wonders what else goes on behind the scenes. This ypu can’t be the only one who has indulged in such activities!

10. The Debutantes of the Year
ODI (W): Thailand
T20I (M): Cook Islands, Croatia, Fiji, Gambia, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mali, Slovenia, South Korea, St. Helena
T20I (W): Bahrain, Barbados, Denmark, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Isle of Man, Malta, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain

11. The New Format of the Year
West Indies compressed the game to 60 balls and made random changes along they way and came with The 6ty. It had its own set of bizarre innovations. Lets see which format comes along in 2023! 

That was the Slipstream selection from 2022. Hoping for an action-packed 2023 with its two World Cups and Test Championship Finals. 

Wishing all readers a Very Happy and statistically fun-filled cricketing Year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23: Jharkhand Review

Jharkhand placed in Group B with all matches played in Kolkata. The Virat Singh lead squad finished 3rd in the Group. However, they qualified as best 3rd place team to join the 5 Group runners-up in the Pre-Quarter Finals, where they once again met Karnataka and met a similar fate. Overall, it was a decent campaign. Some of the batters were amongst the runs. And in Kumar Kushagra, they have found another wicket-keeper batter who can keep a calm head in a crisis both in chases as well as while rebuilding an innings. Won’t be surprised if some of the franchisees looking for a back-up wicket-keeper show a keen interest in him during the upcoming IPL Auction!

Here is a game by game summary of the tournament.

Game 1: Jharkhand 309/3 (50) beat Sikkim 116/10 (40.1/50) by 193 runs
Highlights: Rahul Shukla 5/19, Utkarsh Singh 52 & 1/4, Virat Singh 75, Saurabh Tiwary 63*, Kumar Deobrat 51*

Game 2: Assam 163/10 (39.4) lost to Jharkhand 166/2 (35) by 8 wickets
Highlights: Vivekanand Tiwari 4/42, Utkarsh Singh 83* & 1/12, Virat Singh 50

Game 3: Jharkhand 107/10 (40.4) lost to Karnataka 108/4 (26.3) by 6 wickets
Highlights: Kumar Kushagra 56

Game 4: Rajasthan 270/10 (49) lost Jharkhand 271/5 (49) by 5 wickets
Highlights: Rahul Shukla 5/53, Utkarsh Singh 91 & 1/31, Saurabh Tiwary 76

Game 5: Jharkhand 321/2 (50) beat Meghalaya 129/10 (40.3) by 192 runs
Highlights: Utkarsh Singh 128*, Virat Singh 112, Vikash Singh 3/17, Sushant Mishra 3/33

Game 6: Delhi 259/5 (50) lost to Jharkhand 260/5 (48.5) by 5 wickets
Highlights: Virat Singh 116*

Game 7: Vidarbha 297/3 (50) beat Jharkhand 288/6 (50) by 9 runs
Highlights: Saurabh Tiwary 138*, Kumar Kushagra 55

Pre-Quarter-Final: Jharkhand 187/10 (47.1) lost to Karnataka 188/5 (40.5) by 5 wickets
List A Debut: Arnav Sinha
Highlights: Kumar Kushagra 74, Anukul Roy 57

Tournament Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Virat Singh: 390 @ 65.00, 2x100, 2x50
  2. Utkarsh Singh: 370 @ 61.67, 1x100, 3x50
  3. Saurabh Tiwary: 367 @ 91.75, 1x100, 2x50
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Rahul Shukla: 16 @ 16.25, 2x5
  2. Shahbaz Nadeem: 8 @ 37.50
  3. Sushant Mishra: 7 @ 19.86
Top Score: Saurabh Tiwary: 138* vs Vidarbha
Best Bowling: Rahul Shukla: 5/19 vs Sikkim
Players Used: 17 
List A Debuts: 1

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Vijay Hazare Trophy 22-23: Bihar review

Bihar were placed in Group C with all matches played in Bengaluru. Another poor outing for Bihar as they finished with 4 points from 2 abandoned games and 5 losses to finish 7th in the 8 strong group. The learning curve has still a long way to go for the Ashutosh Aman lead side.

There was no consistency in selection with 21 players used off whom 6 played only one game each!

Here is the game by game summary

Game 1: Tamil Nadu 106/2 (17.1/38) vs Bihar: Match Abandoned due to rain
List A Debut: Harsh Singh, Surya Vansh

Game 2: Goa 329/6 beat Bihar 241/10 (46.5) by 88 runs
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 3/42, Sachin Kumar 76, Surya Vansh 63

Game 3: Bihar 158/10 (47.5) lost to Haryana 159/1 (22.2) by 9 wickets
List A Debut: Raghuvendra Pratap Singh

Game 4: Andhra 302/7 (50) beat Bihar 170/10 (44.3) by 132 runs
Highlights: Veer Pratap Singh 60
Vijay Vats played his first senior game in India, having earlier played in Sri Lanka earlier this year!

Game 5: Chhattisgarh 304/7 (50) beat Bihar 241/9 (50) by 63 runs
List A Debut: Adhiraj Johri, Shishir Saket
Highlights: Bipin Saurabh 110* (86)

Game 6: Bihar 201/10 (49.3) lost to Kerala 205/1 (24.4) by 9 wickets
List A Debut: Gaurav, Himansu Singh
Highlights: Sakibul Gani 68

Game 7: Arunachal Pradesh 170/10 (48.4) vs Bihar 56/2 (13.5): Match abandoned due to rain
List A Debut: Ravi Shankar
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 3/19, Sachin Kumar 3/26, Veer Pratap Singh 3/39

Tournament Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Sachin Kumar: 183 @36.60, 1x50
  2. Bipin Saurabh: 159 @53.00, 1x100
  3. Sakibul Gani: 113 @18.83, 1x50
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Harsh Singh: 8 @34.75
  2. Ashutosh Aman: 7 @ 33.57
  3. Sachin Kumar: 6 @22.00
Top Score: Bipin Saurabh 110* vs Chhattisgarh
Best Bowling: Ashutosh Aman 3/19 vs Arunachal
Players Used: 21
List A Debuts: 8

Overall, a very disappointing show from Bihar. Lets see how they perform in the Ranji Trophy

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2022-23: Bihar Review

Bihar were placed in Group D. All matches held in Indore and mostly televised live presenting a great opportunity for the players to present their cases for the next IPL auctions.

Things did not go too well for the Ashutosh Aman lead side. They beat Nagaland and almost trumped Andhra but were outplayed in the other matches to finish 6th in the group.

Here is the game-by-game summary of the tournament for Bihar.

Game 1: Nagaland 145/8 (20) lost to Bihar 148/4 (19.1) by 6 wickets
T20 Debut: Raghuvendra Pratap Singh, Rishav Raj
Highlights: Anuj Raj 4/32, Abhijeet Saket 2/19, Bipin Saurabh 29 (19), Sachin Kumar 34* (18)

Game 2: Himachal Pradesh (179/7) (20) beat Bihar 150/6 (20) by 29 runs
T20 Debut: Anshuman Raj, Apurva Anand
Highlights: Sakibula Gani 48 (29), Bipin Saurabh 40 (32)

Game 3: Baroda 156/5 (20) beat Bihar 120/8 (20) by 36 runs
Highlights: Anuj Raj 2/19, Sachin Kumar 0/15 & 38 (35)

Game 4: Bihar 181/2 (20) lost to Andhra 186/8 (19.4) by 2 wickets
T20 Debut: Pietar Mardi, Sakib Hussain
Highlights: Babul Kumar 72 (50), Bipin Saurabh 52 (39), Abhijeet Saket 3/31

Game 5: Bihar 119/10 (19.4) lost to Saurashtra 124/2 (14.1) by 8 wickets
T20 Debut: Roshan Madhav

Game 6: Bihar 161/7 (20) lost to Gujarat 165/6 (14) by 4 wickets
Highlights: Mangal Mahrour 51* (37), Sakib Hussain 4/20

Tournament Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Bipin Saurabh: 141 @ 23.50, 1x50
  2. Sakibul Gani 140 @ 28.00
  3. Sachin Kumar 127 @ 31.75
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Anuj Raj: 9 @ 14.56
  2. Abhijeet Saket: 7 @ 25.14
  3. Sakib Hussain: 4 @ 11.75
Top Score: Babul Kumar 72 vs Andhra 
Best Bowling: Sakib Hussain 4/20 vs Gujarat
Players Used: 20
T20 Debuts: 7

Overall, not much to write about for the Bihar team, although the things are improving slightly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2022-23: Jharkhand Review

Jharkhand were placed in Group E with all matches held in Lucknow. It was a disappointing tourney for the Virat Singh led side, as they started off with a couple of games abandoned and stumbled to two defeats. Two wins at the end redeemed the tournament a bit but overall nothing much to write home about for Jharkhand as they finished 4th in the group.

Here is the game wise summary

Game 1: Jharkhand vs Bengal – Abandoned without a ball bowled

Game 2: Jharkhand vs Chhattisgarh – Abandoned without a ball bowled

Game 3: Jharkhand 106/9 (20) lost to Chandigarh 107/1 (17.3) by 9 wickets
T20 Debut: Aayush Bhardwaj, Rajandeep Singh

Game 4: Tamil Nadu 138/10 (20) beat Jharkhand 126/8 (20) by 12 runs
Highlights: Nadeem 4/12, Vikash Singh 3/22, Virat Singh 52* (38)

Game 5: Jharkhand 188/5 (20) beat Odisha 117/10 (19.2) by 71 runs
T20 Debut: Manishi
Highlights: Ishan Kishan 102* (64), Nadeem 3/21, Anukul Roy 2/19

Game 6: Sikkim 58/10 (17) lost to Jharkhand 61/0 (6) by 10 wickets

Tournament Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Ishan Kishan: 138 @ 69, 1x100
  2. Virat Singh: 91 @ 45.50, 1x50
  3. Aayush Bhardwaj: 41 @13.67
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Shahbaz Nadeem: 8 @ 7.00
  2. Vikash Singh: 5 @ 18.00
  3. Vivekanand Tiwari: 3 @ 8.67
Top Score: Ishan Kishan 102* vs Odisha
Best Bowling: Shahbaz Nadeem 4/12 vs Tamil Nadu
Players Used: 17
T20 Debuts: 3 

Overall, nothing noteworthy from the Jharkhand team, It was the proven performers like Ishan and Nadeem who gave decent performances. Hoping for better outcomes in the coming tournaments

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Jharkhand 2022-23: Duleep Trophy

The new domestic season kicked off with the Duleep Trophy which is returning after a gap of 2 years. Another sign that the world is returning back to normalcy after the Covid-19 pandemic!

Duleep Trophy reverted back to the inter-zonal format. Much better than being part of Elite/Plate A/B/C or India Red/Blue/Green!

From Jharkhand, Virat Singh, Nazim Siddique, Kumar Kushagra & Shahbaz Nadeem made the East Zone squad, with Virat being named the vice-captain. In the Quarter-final against North Zone, only Virat and Nadeem made the playing XI. Virat top-scoring with 117 (his 7th century in first-class cricket) in the first innings and 7 in the 2nd. Nadeem had figures of 2/124 in the only North Zone innings. North Zone making it to the semis on the basis of 1st innings lead.

Meanwhile, our star fast bowler Varun Aaron has decided to shift to Baroda after having been part of Jharkhand squads for 18 seasons! Wishing him the best for his new stint. 

So, overall, a sedate start to the season. Let's see what the rest of the season holds for the team.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Arbit Stats #73: Trent Boult – Topping the Bottom

In the highly entertaining Trent Bridge Test, it was Trent Boult who got the statistic to remember. During the course of his two innings, he surpassed the great Muttiah Muralitharan as the batter with the most runs scored batting at No. 11.

This is certainly a unique record as it requires the perfect amalgamation of a lot of contrasting skills into achieving it. Some of these include:
  1. Longevity: the first test for any greatness. One certainly needs a long career to produce so many runs
  2. Competence with the ball: otherwise you will not be put in the XI, especially these days in the era of multi-dimensional cricketers.
  3. Being the worst batter of the group: If you start regularly scoring more than the fair share of runs expected from a No. 11, you may get promoted to No. 10 (or higher) and that ends your bid for this record (ask Zaheer Khan, once scored 75 at No. 11 and was then bumped up the order). And the group will be regularly changing. There is far greater churn amongst bowlers due to pitch, form, rotation and injuries.
  4. Luck: there is a fair chance the days you are in good form having hit a couple of 4s off the middle of the bat, successfully blocking others, the next over the other guy gets out and that’s it for the innings.
  5. A not so great batting order: which doesn’t score so big that the captain regularly declares the innings and the last fellows don’t even get a strike in the middle. 
Overall, a bowler with a long career, who is able to wield the bat as an instrument to collect random runs without showing any real batting skill and lots of luck. 

Just look at the names in the Top 10 – Boult, Murali, Anderson, McGrath, Walsh, Willis, Statham, Ntini, Lyon, Hazlewood.

All a perfect amalgamation of the above factors.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Ranji Trophy 2021-22 Quarter-Finals: Jharkhand vs Bengal

Bengal 773/7d 318/7d drew with Jharkhand 298/10. Bengal qualify for semi-finals

Karma is real. That must have been the feeling of Jharkhand team as Bengal did to them what they themselves had done to Nagaland in the previous game. i.e., bat till the 3rd day, then skittle out the opposition, take a big lead, bat again into the 5th day, declare and then shake hands.

This was another game more for the statistically obsessed.

Highlights:
  • 9 – First ever instance of 9 batters scoring a 50 in the same first-class innings. Well done Bengal!
  • Virat Singh – 6th first-class century & 3rd of the season. Maybe Sunrisers made a mistake by letting him go
  • Shahbaz Nadeem – 22nd career 5-wicket haul. Unfortunately, it came in the second innings when it was all over.
Season Stats
Highest Scorers
  1. Kumar Kushagra 439 @ 62.71, 1x200, 2x50
  2. Virat Singh 391 @ 55.86, 3x100
  3. Nazim Siddiqui 322 @ 35.78, 1x100, 2x50
Highest Wicket-takers
  1. Shahbaz Nadeem 25 @ 24.96, 3x5, 1x10
  2. Sushant Mishra 16 @ 30.94, 1x5
  3. Anukul Roy 12 @ 33.67
Best Batting: Kumar Kushagra 254 vs Nagaland
Best Bowling: Sushant Mishra 5/27 vs Chhattisgarh
Player Count: 15
Captain Count: 2
First-Class Debut: 3

Coming Up Next: Wait for the next season to start, which should be a full one

Monday, May 30, 2022

IPL 2022: Jharkhand & Bihar Performances

IPL 2022 is done and dusted with Gujarat Titans winning the title in their first appearance in the tournament. Here is a short summary of the representatives of Jharkhand & Bihar teams at this edition of the IPL.
  1. MS Dhoni (CSK) – 14 Matches, 232 runs @33.14 with 1 fifty, 9 catches. After having stepped down had to take over the captaincy midway through the tournament. And he has announced that he will be back next season
  2. Ishan Kishan (MI) – 14 matches, 418 runs @32.15 with 3 50s, 13 catches. This was an ordinary season for Ishan, yet he scored over 400 runs and was the top run-getter for MI.
  3. Varun Aaron (GT) – 2 matches, 2 wickets @26 & ER of 10.40. Did not really make much use of his two outings for the eventual champions, but he has an IPL trophy now.
  4. Anukul Roy (KKR) – 2 matches, 1 wicket @55 & ER 7.85. Finally got some game time but no special performance.
No games for Shahbaz Nadeem (LSG) and Bihar's sole representative Anunay Singh (RR).

Nothing out of ordinary from the Jharkhand players in the limited outings they got. Slightly disappointing to see that given the league had expanded and teams were playing locals more often. 

Next up – Ranji Trophy Quarter-finals for Jharkhand.