Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ranji Trophy 12-13: Jharkhand vs Himachal Pradesh

Match Summary: Jharkhand (236/10 & 244/2) draw with Himachal Pradesh (442/7 dec)
Points: Jharkhand 1, Himachal Pradesh 3

A poor first innings effort by the Jharkhand batsmen led to the team slipping up in the 1st innings against some disciplined bowling by Himachal. Only a fighting century by Saurabh Tiwary, the first by any Jharkhand  player in this season and a 130 run stand with Sunny Gupta provided the saving grace. In reply Himachal went on to take a big lead with the bowlers being largely ineffective. Shankar Rao took 3 wickets while Sunny took 2. Himachal in a bid to enforce an outright victory declared but a more discplined second innings effort took Jharkhand to safety and secured 1 point. Akash Verma playing his 1st game of the season scored a century while Manish Vardhan (94) narrowly missed out.

The result has hampered the qualifying chances a little, with Jharkhand having slipped down to 4th place in the group with 11 points. They now rest in the coming round beginning December 4th with a must win game against Tripura beginning on December 8th.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ranji Trophy 12-13: Jharkhand vs Goa

Match Summary: Jharkhand (360/10) vs Goa (208/10 & 292/8 following on)
Points: Jharkhand 3, Goa 1 (1st innings lead basis)

A solid batting & bowling performance got Jharkhand 3 points from their 3rd game of the season against Goa. The Goa side lacked international names but had some domestic IPL star performers like Asnodkar, Bisla & Jakati. And it was Bisla's 2nd innings heroics which stood between Jharkhand & an outright victory. With 5 rounds left every game is becoming crucial.

Jharkhand made a few changes from the previous games with Nemat & Jasakaran missing out due to injury. Ajay Yadav made his First Class debut, while Deobrat came in for Nemat. Consistent scores from the entire top order with half centuries for Vardhan, Sunny (who opened in this game), Jaggi & Deobrat took the score to 360. Nadeem took another 5 wicket haul with Sunny & Rao taking 2 each to knock out Goa for 208 and enforce the follow on. (in a 4-day game a 150 run lead is sufficient for the follow-on). In the 2nd innings Goa hung in against the spin of Sunny (6 wickets) & Nadeem (2 wickets).

Nadeem is currently the leading wicket-taker in the Ranji season with 24 wickets already from 3 games. Should start to figure in the plans of Indian selectors soon.

The result ensures that Jharkhand retain the 2nd position in the Group C points table with 10 points. Coming up next is Himachal Pradesh who have former India opener Aakash Chopra in their ranks and are currently in the 3rd place with 7 points. Match begins Nov 24th. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ranji Trophy 12-13: Jharkhand vs Assam

Match Summary: Assam (179/10 & 207/10) beat Jharkhand (174/10 &159/10) by 53 runs at Jamshedpur.
Points: Assam - 6, Jharkhand - 0

Coming on the heels of a good victory against Jammu & Kashmir, this was a bad result. Specially given the fact that there were many instances Jharkhand were in full control of the game. And the defeat coming at home makes the qualification chances slightly  slimmer. A golden opportunity to be in pole position for the race to quarter-finals has been squandered. Instead its now Assam leading the way in the group.

Batting collapses in both innings and allowing Assam lower order to get away with a lot of runs in the second innings were the key contributors to this loss. The pitch was spin-friendly and batting difficult but this was a match which should have been won. 

Assam's 1st innings was restricted to 179 thanks to 4-wicket hauls for Nadeem & Sunny Gupta. Jharkhand in response were cruising along before losing the last 7 wickets for just 32 runs to concede a 5 run lead. Nemat was the top scorer with 53. Nadeem picked up another 4 wicket haul while Sunny got 3 to restrict Assam to 207. It could have been quite worse but Assam's last 3 wickets added 82 runs which in the end proved decisive. In the 2nd innings chasing 213 Nemat was once again the top scorer with 42 but another collapse saw the team fall short by 53 runs.

Overall a bad result. Hoping for a better performance against Goa in the 3rd game starting on November 17th. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jharkhand Ranji Trophy 2012-13: Game 1

What a start to the season! Jharkhand beat Jammu & Kashmir in the season opener by an innings & 31 runs. Not only did they win, they also got the bonus point and have the best quotient (2.179) amongst the Group C teams. Which means they are right on top of the table after the 1st round of games with 7 points. Alongside are Assam (also with 7) and there is a chance to get clear pole position when these 2 clash in the 2nd round of games beginning November 9th.

Match Summary: J&K (195/10 &151/10) lost to Jharkhand (377/10) by an innings & 31 runs. Venue Jammu
Points - Jharkhand - 7, J&K - 0

Saurabh Tiwary was the only player with international exposure in the game. It was a good all round bowling performance in the 1st innings by the Jharkhand team with Nadeem & SS Rao picking 3 wickets while Sunny Gupta (of the infamous IPL knockout game) took 2. A combined batting performance took Jharkhand to a decent (though not imposing) score. Nemat (75), Tiwary (72) & Gautam (80) got 50s while there were a couple of others in the 20s & 30s. However this score was more than enough as Nadeem ran through the J&K line-up in the 2nd innings picking 6 wickets while Jaskaran took 2. 

Hopefully Varun Aaaron will be fit for the games which lie ahead. Thouh I wonder why Dhoni wasn't playing while almost all Indian players played in the opening Ranji games. In fact some turned up to play for their states just a day after the India A-England match.

Its still early days in the season and tougher tests lie ahead but as they say, "Well begun is half Done"