Monday, January 9, 2017

Ranji Trophy 16-17: Semi-Final Jharkhand vs Gujarat

Match Summary: Gujarat (390 & 252) beat Jharkhand (418 & 111) by 123 runs   

At the fag end of the 4th day's play, Jharkhand's dream run came to a brutal and quick end. In a seesawing game, fortunes swung one way and then the other. Gujarat began briskly on Day 1, Jharkhand hauled them back on Day 2 but the 8th wicket partnership resisted long and took the score to 390. Jharkhand were in trouble early in the innings but Ishank Jaggi and others dragged them to the crucial first innings lead of 18 runs. But in a 5 day match, with a brisk run-rate from both sides only an outright victory was going to secure the result. Gujarat set a competitive target of 235. And then in the 4th innings, Jharkhand capitulated against the pace duo of RP Singh and Jasprit Bumrah and lost by 123 runs. The margin does not do justice to the intensity of the battle.

In the end it wasn't to be. Although this certainly was Jharkhand's greatest run in the Ranji Trophy (not counting their previous avatar of Bihar, who once finished runners-up).  The season has thrown up a lot of youngsters like Ishan Kishan, Virat Singh, Kaushal Singh who are ready to take on the mantle. The senior lot of Saurabh Tiwary, Ishank Jaggi and Shahbaz Nadeem are also likely to be in the mix for some more time.

  • It was refreshing to see Jharkhand's batting being more than just Saurabh Tiwary for a change who had another 500+ run season. Ishank Jaggi and Ishan Kishan added lots of firepower to the batting.
  • Meanwhile Shahbaz Nadeem is set to top the wicket-taking charts for a second year in a row. Wonder what else he needs to do for the national call-up now. 
  • Fitness issues have plagued the team's bowling attack with Varun Aaron missing most of the season. Ashish Kumar's injury during the Quarter-finals also hasn't helped.
  • The opening partnerships were another area of concern throughout.

Good performances in the forthoming Vijay Hazare Trophy should see some of the youngsters in contention for IPL contracts which could be their stepping stone to the A Squad and then onwards to the national team.

Season Stats
Top Scorer: Ishank Jaggi 890 @59.33
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 56 @25.61
Player Count: 17

Hopefully this season has set the tone for another good run in the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Commentary Box