Friday, November 12, 2021

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2021-22: Jharkhand Review

A middling start for the season for Jharkhand. 3 losses on the trot followed by 2 wins to finish 3rd in the Group and getting knocked out early. Some of the games could have gone easily gone the Saurabh Tiwary lead side’s way. Here is the game-by-game summary of the tournament. 

Game 1: Jharkhand 146/5 (20) lost to Rajasthan 147/4 (17.3) by 6 wickets 
Highlights: Kumar Deobrat 51 (34) 
T20 Debut: Kumar Kushagra 

Game 2: Himachal Pradesh 144/8 (20) beat Jharkhand 137/9 (20) by 7 runs 
Highlights: Monu Kumar 3/31, Anukul Roy 2/18 & 39(19) 

Game 3: Andhra 165/4 (20) beat Jharkhand 157/9 (20) by 8 runs 
Highlights: Ishank Jaggi 62 (39) 
T20 Debut: Shubham Singh 

Game 4: Jharkhand 181/5 (20) beat Haryana 165/10 (19.3) by 16 runs 
Highlights: Jaggi 51 (42), Saurabh Tiwary 58* (35), Bal Krishna 3/34, Anukul Roy 2/27, Shahbaz Nadeem 1/17 

Game 5: Jammu & Kashmir 156/6 (20) lost to Jharkhand 157/5 (19.2) by 5 wickets 
Highlights: Utkarsh Singh 2/22 

Season Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Saurabh Tiwary 154 @ 51.33, 1x50 
  2. Ishank Jaggi 143 @ 47.67, 2x50 
  3. Utkarsh Singh 89 @ 22.50 
Highest Wicket-takers 
  1. Anukul Roy 6 @ 20.33 
  2. Monu Kumar 4 @ 13.00 
  3. Shubham Singh 4 @ 24.75 
Best Batting: Ishank Jaggi 62 vs Andhra 
Best Bowling: Bal Krishna 3/34 vs Haryana 
Players Used: 17 
T20 Debut: 2 

Overall, not a particularly great run for Jharkhand. Ishan Kishan was certainly missed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2021-22: Bihar Review

After last season’s run into the knock-outs, Bihar got promoted into the Elite groups. After a good start with a win against Railways, the momentum fizzled out for the Ashutosh Aman led side. Here is a game-by-game summary of the tournament for Bihar 

Game 1: Bihar 169/4 (20) beat Railways 134/10 (18) by 35 runs 
Highlights: Bipin Saurabh 72 (54), Abhijeet Saket 3/15, Hrishi Raj 3/31, Ashutosh Aman 2/25 
T20 Debut: Bipin Saurabh, Hrishi Raj, Yashasvi Rishav 

Game 2: Bihar 131/5 (20) lost to Kerala 132/3 (14.1) by 7 wickets 
Highlights: Sakibul Gani 53* (41), Ashutosh Aman 2/31 

Game 3: Bihar 135/8 (20) lost to Assam 136/17 (18.5) by 3 wickets 
Highlights: Babul Kumar 82 (57), Ashutosh Aman 1/9, Abhijeet Saket 2/25 
T20 Debut: Kumar Rajnish, Malay Raj 

Game 4: Bihar 59/10 (18) lost to Madhya Pradesh 60/1 (5.4) by 9 wickets 
T20 Debut: Shashi Anand, Shekhar Singh 

Game 5: Bihar 118/6 (20) lost to Gujarat 121/5 (19.1) by 5 wickets 
Highlights: Mangal Mahrour 64* (51), Ashutosh Aman 2/10 
T20 Debut: Anunay Singh 

Season Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Babul Kumar 131 @ 32.75, 1x50 
  2. Bipin Saurabh 125 @ 25.00, 1x50 
  3. Mangal Mahrour 119 @ 29.75, 1x50 
Highest Wicket-takers 
  1. Ashutosh Aman 7 @ 10.71 
  2. Abhijeet Saket 7 @ 18.29 
  3. Hrishi Raj 4 @ 17.00 
Best Batting: Babul Kumar 82 vs Assam 
Best Bowling: Abhijeet Saket 3/15 vs Railways 
Players Used: 19 
T20 Debut: 8 

Overall, a poor run for Bihar finishing bottom of the group.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Domestic Schedule 21-22: Jharkhand & Bihar

The Indian domestic season returns to a full schedule (hopefully) this season. Last season the Ranji Trophy could not be held for the first time since inception. Covid stopped Ranji Trophy, something even the World War could not! 

Hopefully, with cases declining and vaccinations in progress, we should have a season with no disruptions (although the odd cases might still creep in) 

The season begins with Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy and will be followed by Ranji Trophy in 2022. Vijay Hazare Trophy will be at the fag end of the season. 

Here is the upcoming schedule for Jharkhand and Bihar.

Dates

Jharkhand

Bihar

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy

4-Nov-21

Rajasthan

Railways

5-Nov-21

Himachal Pradesh

Kerala

6-Nov-21

Andhra

Assam

8-Nov-21

Haryana

Madhya Pradesh

9-Nov-21

Jammu & Kashmir

Gujarat

Ranji Trophy

13-16 Jan 22

Railways

Manipur

20-23 Jan 22

Goa

Meghalaya

27-30 Jan 22

Saurashtra

Arunachal Pradesh

3-6 Feb 22

Tamil Nadu

Sikkim

10-13 Feb 22

Jammu & Kashmir

Chandigarh


Good luck to both the teams. Hope they have a successful and safe season ahead

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Memories from Moin-ul-Haq

On a WhatsApp group, the conversation started about the two additional teams in IPL and meandered along to cricket stadium in Patna. To the mild disbelief of many, Moin-ul-Haq stadium in Patna has actually hosted internationals. Three men’s ODIs in the mid ‘90s, all of which featured Zimbabwe as one of the teams. There was a Hero Cup match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in 1993 and a World Cup match between Zimbabwe and Kenya. The World Cup game had to be replayed due to rain and hence the match count goes upto 3. 

Patna also hosted a few women’s matches - a Test and 5 ODIs in the 70s. In fact, Moin-ul-Haq stadium is where the Indian women recorded their first ever Test victory. 

Internationals have been very few. Firstly, there was competition from Jamshedpur, a more established venue (relatively) within the then Bihar state. Then, post the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, the action shifted entirely to Jamshedpur where the cricket association was headquartered. Thus, Bihar and Moin-ul-Haq stadium disappeared completely from the radar for nearly two decades. It was only in 2018 that the team made a comeback to the Ranji setup. The stadium has also become more active with Ranji Trophy games back and also hosting a Women’s T20 quadrangular tourney. However, with a proposed new international stadium coming up in Rajgir, Moin-ul-Haq might meet the same fate as Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur ever since Ranchi became the preferred venue in Jharkhand! 

However, personally it will hold a special place as the venue of my first ever stadium experience. A Duleep Trophy match played between North and Central Zones. While I don’t recall too much of how the play went, I do have vague memories of the stadium being quite full and Maninder Singh hammering a couple of sixes! There were quite a few internationals in action, including big names like Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhkar and Maninder Singh. There were also some other internationals like Kirti Azad, Atul Wassan, Raman Lamba, Ajay Sharma, Gopal Sharma. And a few future internationals like Ajay Jadeja, Pravin Amre and Prashant Vaidya, whom I wasn’t even aware of till I looked up the scorecard!. Quite a stellar cast for a domestic game. 

That was the first-ever live serious cricketing action that I saw. Thus, while most folks name famous stadiums from across the cricketing world, my favorite continues to be Moin-ul-Haq. The facilities for spectators were non-existent, there was no glitz and glamour, and it is located in a state not really known for its sporting prowess, but it will always have a special place in my cricketing memories.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021: Jharkhand Review

One of the weirdest campaigns in recent times. Jharkhand started with a bang, recording the highest ever total in Vijay Hazare Trophy (which got eclipsed a few days later) also recording the second biggest victory margin, then won a couple of close games and lost the penultimate one. On the last day, they were still in pole position to qualify but a meagre total was overhauled in spectacular fashion by Andhra, who qualified on net run rate basis. 

Here is a game by game summary of this weird campaign 
Game 1: Jharkhand 422/9 (50) beat Madhya Pradesh 98/10 (18.4) by 324 runs 
Highlights: Ishan Kishan 173 off 94 balls & 7 catches (equals Indian List A record), Virat Singh 68, Sumit Kumar 52, Anukul Roy 72, Varun Aaron 6/37 
List A Debut: Bal Krishna, Kumar Kushagra, Rajandeep Singh 
  • Jharkhand’s 422 was the highest score by an Indian domestic team breaking ironically Madhya Pradesh’s record. 
  • This was the second biggest victory margin by runs in a List A game. 
  • Ishan Kishan’s 5 catches off Varun Aaron also equalled the List A record for most bowler-fielder combination wickets in a single game. 
Game 2: Jharkhand 217/9 (50) beat Punjab 215/10 (45.5) by 2 runs 
Highlights: Utkarsh Singh 51, Shahbaz Nadeem 45* from No.9 and 2/36 

Game 3: Vidarbha 288/9 (50) lost to Jharkhand 294/7 (49/3) by 3 wickets 
Highlights: Vikash Singh 4/65, Kumar Doebrat 100, Rajandeep Singh 48* off 25 

Game 4: Tamil Nadu 266/7 (50) beat Jharkhand 199/9 (50) by 67 runs 
Highlights: Anukul Roy 3/41, Rahul Shukla 42* off 25 coming in at No.11 
  • Meanwhile Mumbai broke Jharkhand’s record a day before by scoring 457 against Puducherry 
Game 5: Jharkhand 139/10 (46.2) lost to Andhra 140/3 (9.5) by 7 wickets 

Tournament Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Ishan Kishan 215 @ 43.00 with 1x100 
  2. Virat Singh 188 @ 37.60 with 1x50 
  3.  Anukul Roy 147 @ 29.40 with 1x50 
Top Innings: Ishan Kishan 173 vs Madhya Pradesh 
Most Wickets 
  1. Varun Aaron 9 @ 20.44 
  2. Bal Krishna 6 @ 27.60 
  3. Rahul Shukla 6 @ 29.67 
Best Bowling: Varun Aaron 6/37 vs Madhya Pradesh 
Player Count: 14 
List A Debuts: 3 

A tournament which opened with a bang ended in a hiding for the Jharkhand team. A helter-skelter chase by Andhra dropped them from the group toppers to 3rd place knocking them out of the tournament! Surprisingly no game for Saurabh Tiwary. 

Ishan Kishan’s fireworks on the opening day did secure him a maiden Indian callup. 

Lets see what’s next for the Jharkhand team.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021: Bihar Review

BCCI managed to conduct the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy across 6 bio-secure bubbles. Given their previous performances, Bihar had moved out of the Plate group. And the step-up to the Elite level was too big a gap for the team. Bihar lost all their 5 games and were competitive in only one game against Odisha. 

Here is a game-by-game summary of the tournament 

Game 1: Bihar 189/10 (45.5) lost to Railways 190/0 (29) by 10 wickets 
Highlights: Anuj Raj 72 from No.9 
List A Debut: Anuj Raj, Akash Raj, Rahul Kumar, Shabbir Khan 

Game 2: Karnataka 354/3 (50) beat Bihar 87/10 (27.2) by 267 runs 

Game 3: Bihar 193/10 (46.1) lost to Uttar Pradesh 194/5 (28) by 5 wickets 
Highlights: Yashaswi Rishav 67 
List A Debut: Lakhan Raja, Rishav Raj, Yashasvi Rishav, Suraj Kashyap 
One unnamed Bihar player tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the game. 

Game 4: Bihar 255/7 (50) lost to Odisha 258/3 (48.1) by 7 wickets 
Highlights: Babul Kumar 78 
List A Debut: Apurva Anand 

Game 5: Bihar 148/10 (40.2) lost to Kerala 149/1 (8.5) by 9 wickets 
Highlights: Babul Kumar 64 
List A Debut: Vikash Patel 
Kerala went hammer and tongs to overhaul Bihar’s target! 

Tournament Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Babul Kumar 181 @ 26.20 with 2x50s 
  2. Sakibul Gani 111 @ 22.20 
  3. Anuj Raj 104 @ 26.00 with 1x50 
Top Innings: Babul Kumar 78 vs Odisha 
Most Wickets 
  1. Ashutosh Aman 3 @ 63.00 
  2. Anuj Raj 3 @ 69.67 
  3. Rahul Kumar 2 @ 70.50 
Best Bowling: Ashutosh Aman 2/44 vs Uttar Pradesh 
Player Count: 18 
List A Debuts: 10 

So 5 straight losses and one covid positive result. Not too great a series. 

And now the team moves back into uncertainty as we do not know when the next fixture will come up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Nice Guy Who Finished First

A Biography of Rahul Dravid: The Nice Guy Who Finished First by Devendra Prabhudesai 

Once when I had to fill out an overall career goal, I wrote “To Be The Nice Guy Who Finished First”, borrowing the byline of this book. Sailed through that presentation and interview, reaffirming my belief that one can’t go wrong with an apt sports analogy. However, I hadn’t yet read the book. An aberration which has been corrected! 

The Nice Guy Who Finished First is not a conventional biography. It barely tells us anything about the persona of its subject. All we get is a collection of match reports. For the Dravid fans, it’s a good way to re-live the roller-coaster ride that the 90s and the early 2000s were for Indian cricket. But hardly anything else. There are some comments about Dravid from his contemporaries but hardly anything from the man himself. Only the very last chapter which lists the different “schools” of India batsmanship shows some insight. Otherwise it’s like reading a highlights reel of Dravid’s first decade in international cricket with barely a mention of what happened around him. 

Funny thing, the writer chose 2005 as the stopping point of his work. After all the entry of Greg Chappell into the Indian dressing room has to be one of the more interesting phases in Indian cricket history.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2021: Bihar Review

Bihar had a good run in the tournament. Won all their games in the Plate League and with Nagaland-Chandigarh match called off got sole pole position to qualify for the Quarter-Finals. The Ashutosh Aman lead side had its moments against Rajasthan but fell short in the end. This was the first televised game for this lot, so lets see if any of them have got the eye of the IPL scouts. 

Game 1: Bihar 122/10 (20) beat Arunachal Pradesh 104/9 (20) by 18 runs 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 3/17, Sachin Kumar 3/22 
T20 Debut: Amod Yadav, Rahul Kumar, Sachin Kumar, Sakibul Gani, Vikash Yadav 

Game 2: Sikkim 110/8 (20) lost to Bihar 111/2 (19.1) by 8 wickets 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 4/18, Mangal Mahrour 55 (46) 

Game 3: Meghalaya 89/9 (20) lost to Bihar 92/4 (16) by 6 wickets 
Highlights: Anuj Raj 3/15, Ashutosh Aman 2/15, Shasheem Rathour 2/17 & 33 (28) 
T20 Debut: Anuj Raj, Akash Raj 

Game 4: Manipur 105/8 (20) lost to Bihar 107/1 (17.1) by 9 wickets 
Highlights: Amod Yadav 4/17, Shasheem Rathour 60* (40) 

Game 5: Mizoram 83/8 (20) lost to Bihar 84/4 (12.4) by 6 wickets 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 4/9 
T20 Debut: Mohit Kumar 

Bihar topped the Plate Group and reached the Quarter-Finals 

Quarter-Finals: Rajasthan 164/5 (20) beat Bihar 148/4 (20) by 16 runs 
Highlights: Mangal Mahrour 68* (58) 
T20 Debut: Suraj Kashyap 

Season Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Mangal Mahrour 168 @ 33.60, 2x50s 
  2. Shasheem Rathour 142 @ 28.40, 1x50 
  3. Babul Kumar 108 @ 27.00 
Highest Wicket-takers 
  1. Ashutosh Aman 16 @ 7.63 
  2. Amod Yadav 7 @10.86 
  3. Samar Qaudri 6 @ 17.83 
Best Batting: Mangal Mahrour 68*vs Rajasthan 
Best Bowling: Ashutosh Aman 4/9 vs Mizoram 
Players Used: 15 
T20 Debut: 9

Coming Up Next: Vijay Hazare Trophy 

P.S. Incidentally, this is the 500th post on this blog!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2021 - Jharkhand Review

The 2020-21 season got off to a belated start with the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy. This season’s format ensured that you had to win every game in the league stage or hope for a bunch of other results going in your favour. 

Jharkhand, lead by Ishan Kishan, had a bad start losing their first two games, effectively getting knocked out. The team regrouped and won the next two comfortably before finishing off with a Super Over win against Hyderabad. Incidentally this was the first ever Super Over at Eden Gardens! 

Here is the tournament summary. 

Game 1: Tamil Nadu 189/5 (20) beat Jharkhand 123/7 (20) by 66 runs 

Game 2: Bengal 161/6 (20) beat Jharkhand 145/9 (20) by 16 runs 
Highlights: Monu Kumar 3/20, Virat Singh 47 (38), Utkarsh Singh 1/19 & 28 (14) 
T20 Debut: Kumar Suraj 

Game 3: Jharkhand 233/3 (20) beat Assam 182/7 (20) by 51 runs 
Highlights: Virat Singh 103* (50), Saurabh Tiwary 57 (33),Kumar Deobrat 31* (12), Monu Kumar 3/23 

Game 4: Jharkhand 182/4 (20) beat Odisha 128/10 (17.5) by 54 runs 
Highlights: Ishan Kishan 60 (36), Virat Singh 67 (37), Bal Krishna 4/21 
T20 Debut: Bal Krishna, Vikash Vishal 

Game 5: Hyderabad 139/8 (20) lost to Jharkhand 139/9 (20) in Super Over (14/1 to 23/0) 
Highlights: Vivekanand Tiwari 3/25, Vikash Singh 3/36 

Season Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Virat Singh 250 @ 62.50 
  2. Ishan Kishan 142 @ 28.40 
  3. Saurabh Tiwary 92 @ 23.00 
Highest Wicket-takers 
  1. Monu Kumar 8 @ 14.13 
  2. Bal Krishna 5 @ 9.60 
  3. Rahul Shukla 4 @ 26.50 
Best Batting: Virat Singh 103* (50) vs Assam 
Best Bowling: Monu Kumar 3/20 vs Bengal 
Players Used: 18 
T20 Debut: 3 

It was a good chance for the players to showcase their T20 skills with the IPL auction coming up. Monu Kumar, recently released by CSK came good as did debutante Bal Krishna. 

And now we go into another period of uncertainty about the next fixture.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Arbit Stats #72: On Substitutes

Over Days 3 & 4 of Test Match #2402 at Sydney, Wridhhiman Saha picked up 4 catches in Australia’s 2 innings – thus equaling the record for most catches taken as a substitute in a Test innings set by Younis Khan. 

A subsequent query put on twitter regarding the absence of substitute catches in “official” records got an enlightening conversation going. And what came out was a virtual treasure trove of factoids on substitute fielders. 
  • John Bracewell holds the record for 4 catches as a substitute in ODIs 
  • Geoff Howarth appeared as a sub for England against Australia at the Oval in 1972 before making his international debut for New Zealand 
  • Carl Cachopa, SW Eathorne, MA Hastings, NKW Horsley, MN McKenzie, SM Mills, TD Ritchie have taken a catch as a sub but were never part of the playing XI for New Zealand. 
  • A few subs have managed a stumping in first-class cricket – BE Congdon has a stumping as a sub and been stumped by a sub! 
  • England once used 4 players as wicket-keeper in a Test in 1986 – Bruce French (official), Bob Taylor & Bobby Parks as outside subs and Bill Athey from playing XI 
  • Most catches as sub for New Zealand – Greatbatch (5), Bracewell, Jeff Crowe, Jarvis (4 each) 
  • Marvan Atapattu picked 1 catch but was not part of the playing XI in any of the games of the 1996 Sri Lanka World Cup campaign! 
  • And there is Gary Pratt – faous for running-out Ricky Ponting in an Ashes Test. 

Overall, quite a fascinating subject. There will be many such trivia which are off the official books but interesting nonetheless.

All stats courtesy Kaustubh Gudipati (@kaustats) and Francis Payne (@FPayne100) on twitter!