Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ranji Trophy 2011-12 - Jharkhand Update -2

Sometime back had written about Jharkhand's performance in the first 2 rounds of Ranji Trophy. Since then 3 more rounds have been held. here is a small piece on the team's performance. Jharkhand had collected a total of 3 points after the 1st 2 rounds and were placed at the bottom of the pile.

In the 3rd round Jharkhand took on Maharashtra at Nashik. Maharastra batted first and got to 460 with good contributions from their top order. The captain Shahbaz Nadeem picked up 4 wickets, while keeper Shiv Gautam had a good outing with 6 catches and a stumping. In reply Jharkhand were all out for 283 with Rameez Kemat & Gautam scoring half centuries. Following on Jharkhand managed 1 run less in their 2nd outing with opener Manish Vardhan getting 88. Maharastra was set a victory target of 106 runs which they achieved in 21 overs for the loss of 1 wicket. Points - Maharastra - 5, Jharkhand - 0.

The 4th round was a home game at Dhanbad against Assam. Assam racked up a big score of 502 in the 1st innings with 3 centurions. Shahbaz Nadeem was once again the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets for 170 runs in 61 overs, while Samar Quadri picked 3 for 158 in 51 overs. In reply, Ishank Jaggi scored a daddy hundred (188) while the keeper Shiv Gautam scored 82. The duo was involved in 200+ partnership. There were hardly any other contributions though and the team  conceded a big 1st innings lead. In the 2nd innings Assam's Dheeraj Jadhav scored his 2nd hundred of the match. Points: Assam -3 & Jharkhand -1.

The 5th & final round saw the team take on Goa at Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur, the only ground to have hosted international cricket in the state. (India has probably their poorest home ODI track record in this ground, 1 win against 7 losses). Jharkhand batted first and managed 218 runs with Manish Vardhan top scoring with 84. In reply Goa were knocked out for 189 with Quadri picking a 5-for. 2nd time around Jharkhand scored 204 with Vardhan again top scoring with 67. Chasing a victory target of 234, Goa were seemingly cruising at 133/1 before collapsing to 188 all out. The spin duo of Nadeem & Quadri was once again in action with Nadeem taking 5 & Quadri 4. The 45 run victory gave Jharkhand 5 points for its only outright victory of the season while Goa got 0 points.

Overall Jharkhand finished with 9 points from its 5 matches and finished 4th in the group, thus failing to reach the play-offs. Absence of Aaron was definitely felt, though it was the poor form of the Saurabh Tiwary which hurt the team most. Manish Vardhan, Shiv Gautam & Ishank Jaggi were the regular contributors with the bat while Shahbaz Nadeem & Samar Quadri were good with the ball. 

Bad luck this time around, hopefully will do better next year.

P.S. Only 5 first class matches for the entire year sounds too little cricket to me. And all this within a 6 month period. Maybe a 3 level league with 9 teams each could be a better solution. That would ensure at least more matches for all teams. The Duleep Trophy & Deodhar trophy can be done away to ease out the calendar.

P.P.S. Once again thanks to the operator of the twitter handle @ranjiscores for doing a stellar job of providing regular score updates from across all matches happening in the Plate & Elite leagues. Something which BCCI should be doing through their own account.

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