2016-17 Ranji Trophy- Semi-finals, day 2: Tamil Nadu-Mumbai evenly poised; Gujarat inch ahead after late strike
Honours were shared on day 2 of the Ranji Trophy semi-finals between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu at Rajkot as the defending champions end the day on 171-4, trailing TN by 134 runs with 6 wickets in hand.
After dismissing TN for 305, Mumbai lost their teenage opener Prithvi Shaw, who is making his debut for Mumbai in the very first over for just 4. To everyone’s surprise, Suryakumar Yadav walked out to bat ahead of Shreyas Iyer as the latter was unwell. Surya looked comfortable right from the start as he took the attack to the opposition. He was severe on Aswin Crist and reached his 26th first-class fifty in quick time. Along with opener Praful Waghela, he threatened to take the game away from TN as Mumbai were cruising at 125-1. It was when Vijay Shankar dismissed Surya for 73 and that triggered a mini batting collapse.
Soon after, it became 128-3 when Waghela was run-out by TN skipper Abhinav Mukund for 48. Two balls later, Siddesh Lad was caught by Mukund off Aushik Srinivas without troubling the scorers. Skipper Aditya Tare and Shreyas Iyer played cautiously and made sure that there were no further hiccups in the day.
Earlier in the day, TN lost their overnight batsman Vijay Shankar right after the all-rounder scored his fifty. Aswin Crist scored some crucial runs before they were dismissed for 305. Mumbai’s Abhishek Nayar and Shardul Thakur were the pick of the bowlers as they ended with 4 wickets each.
In the other quarter-final match at Nagpur, Gujarat inch ahead after a late strike by RP Singh that had the dangerous Ishan Kishan walking back to the pavilion. At stumps on day 2, Jharkhand were trailing Gujarat by 176 runs with Ishank Jaggi and Rahul Shukla still at the crease.
Resuming from the overnight score of 283/3, Gujarat lost the leading run-scorer in Ranji Trophy this season, Priyank Panchal for 149. They lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for just 390. RP Singh scored a valuable 40 coming in at no. 9 while Rajiv Shukla and Ajay picked 3 wickets apiece for Jharkhand.
RP Singh struck early with the ball as he removed Sumit Kumar early before accounting for Pratyush Singh for 27 soon after. Virat Singh and Saurabh Tiwary tried their best to pull things back before they were sent back for 34 and 39 respectively. Jaggi and Kishan put on a 92-run and were looking good to see through the day. In the penultimate over of the day, Jharkhand lost Kishan for 61 and that turned the match in favour of Gujarat, who are the favourites to take the first-innings lead. Jaggi is still unbeaten on 40 while RP Singh took three wickets in Jharkhand’s 214-5.
At Rajkot: Mumbai 171-4 (Suryakumar Yadav 73, Praful Waghela 48, Vijay Shankar 1-14) trail Tamil Nadu 305 by 134 runs.
At Nagpur: Jharkhand 214-5 (Ishan Kishan 61, Ishank Jaggi 40*, RP Singh 3-48) trail Gujarat 390 by 176 runs.