Friday, November 27, 2015

Ranji Trophy 15-16: Jharkhand vs Himachal Pradesh

Match Summary: Jharkhand (337) beat Himachal Pradesh (133 & 133) by an innings & 71 runs
Points: Jharkhand 7, Himachal Pradesh 0 

Jharkhand team seems to have found a rich vein of form just at the right time. A second straight innings victory that too against Himachal Pradesh has propelled them into the 3rd place in the table with a very realistic chance of making it into the knock-outs.

It was a strange match. A tale of two different days. On Day 1, Jharkhand ran up a total of 306 for the loss of 4 wickets riding on the back of some excellent to order batting with Shiv Gautam scoring a brilliant 122.  It looked like a match to be decided on the first innings lead basis. Then on second day, it was a dramatic change as first Jharkhand collapsed to 337 all out and then Himachal were knocked out for 133. Twice. Within a day. Wonder what went wrong for the batsmen.

Day 1: 306/4
Day 2: 297/26

Game Notes
  • Shahbaz Nadeem remains the captain. 
  • Team Changes: Out went the seamers Ajay Yadav and Rahul Shukla and in came the spinners Samar Quadri and Sonu Singh.
  • Sonu Singh made his first class debut
  • 2nd first-class century for Shiv Gautam.
  • Samar Quadri reached the milestone of 100 First-Class wickets in his 30th game.
  • Nadeem registered his career-best figures of 7/45 which is his 8th career fifer and third for the season 
  • This is quite a depleted Jharkhand squad with Varun Aaron on national duty while youngsters Ishan Kishan & Virat Singh are currently away on national Under-19 duty. 
Season Stats
Top Scorer: Saurabh Tiwary 462 @ 46.20
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 40 @ 16.40
Player Count: 21 from 7 Games
Captain Count: 3 from 7 Games

Points Tally - 24 after 7 games. Moved up two places to 3rd. Now, lying 1 points behind Kerala who are currently in place for the second knock-out spot from the Group. Jharkhand are now in a 5-way race for the two Group C knock-out berths. A win should be good enough to secure the second place otherwise may need a combination of favorable results for a place in the quarter-finals.

Coming Up Next - Away game against 7th placed Hyderabad. Would follow keenly the other Group C games specially Kerala vs Himachal Pradesh which might turn out to be straight shootout for the 2nd berth behind Saurashtra who take on J&K, while Services, who have an outside chance take on Tripura.

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