2017-18 Ranji Trophy: 5 best performers from the second round
The second round of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy came to an end earlier today with few matches producing a thrilling finish. Saurashtra, Karnataka, Bengal and Vidarbha were the teams to have won with a bonus point while defending champions Gujarat registered an outright win.
Pre-tournament favourites Tamil Nadu and Mumbai were held to a draw by Tripura and Madhya Pradesh respectively but both the teams somehow managed to take the first-innings lead.
There were a lot of fine performances that took place in the second round. Let us take a look at the five best performers of this round.
#1 Washington Sundar
Along with Mumbai's Prithvi Shaw, one teenager who is being hailed as the future of Indian Cricket is Tamil Nadu all-rounder Washington Sundar. The 18-year-old made a name for himself in the 2016 under-19 World Cup, 2016 TNPL, 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy and was picked to represent Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2017 IPL with whom he had an outstanding season.
So, Washington, the bowler is familiar to the Indian fans. But, not many will how his batting powers as he was hardly used as a batsman by his state team Tamil Nadu and in the IPL, thanks to the presence of bigger names in the XI. With opener Murali Vijay opting to sit out of TN's second match of the season against Tripura in Chennai, Washington was asked to open the batting for his team.
This was after his 2-40 with the ball in the first innings that included the wicket of Smit Patel, who was batting on 99. With the bat, he started off slowly on day 2 and when he got his eye in, he stepped on the accelerator as he scored runs fluently.
He reached his fifty off 81 balls and took just 65 balls for his next fifty as his maiden first-class century came off just 146 balls. He continued to dominate the Tripura bowlers and reached his 150 just before stumps on day two before getting out early on day three for a well-made 159 off 231 balls with 14 fours and a lone six.
Tamil Nadu took the first-innings lead comfortably and declared their innings at 357/4 with a lead of just 99, thanks to rain playing spoilsport on day 3. He took one wicket in Tripura's second innings that had only batsmen going back to the pavilion.
Unfortunately, this wasn't enough for Tamil Nadu to get an outright win as rain and bad light took away almost 140 overs of the last two days.