Ranji Trophy round-up: Gujarat and Karnataka post huge wins
Gujarat, Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra and Karnataka registered massive wins in the third round of the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy. This round also saw Goa batsman Sagun Kamat creating history by becoming the first player from Goa to score a triple-century in Ranji Trophy. Goa also crossed 600 for the first time in Ranji Trophy.
Team India discards Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir failed to make a statement while fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who is returning from Chikungunya had a miserable outing as he picked just one wicket and was warned by the match referee for wearing the national jersey.
Let us take a look at how things went in the third round.
Tamil Nadu vs Uttar Pradesh, Dharamsala (UP 3 points, TN 1 point)
After winning their previous match against Railways, Tamil Nadu managed to get just 1 point after conceding a 45-run first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh at Dharamsala. TN skipper Abhinav Mukund got his team off to a solid start as his team were eyeing to get 525 runs to get the first innings lead.
Mukund scored his second century of the season as he along with veteran Dinesh Karthik put on 132 for the fourth wicket before the wicket-keeper batsman perished for 73. Soon after his dismissal, Mukund followed Karthik to the dressing room after Kuldeep Yadav got his wicket for 154 with TN 199 runs short of UP’s first innings total.
Baba Inderjith’s unbeaten 126 gave TN some hopes of salvaging 3 points but he didn’t get the support he would have expected from his teammates from the other end. Eventually, TN were dismissed for 479.
After choosing to bat first on a belter, Uttar Pradesh openers Samarth Singh and Tanmay Srivastava frustrated the TN bowlers on the opening day as they put on 109 for the first wicket before Srivastava was dismissed by Washington Sundar. Samarth carried on his good form and scored 187 before getting out to T Natarajan. Useful contributions from Sarfaraz Khan, Eklavya Dwivedi and Saurabh Kumar took their team to 524.
Mumbai vs Madhya Pradesh, Raipur (Mumbai 3 points, MP 1 point)
This is yet another match in Group A that was decided by the first innings lead. After choosing to bat first, Madhya Pradesh opener Aditya Shrivastava got his team off to a good start by scoring a patient 87 before a sparkling 106 from Rajat Patidar and an unbeaten 83 from Shubham Sharma made sure that their side reached a solid total of 447.
On a track that assisted the batsmen and the depth Mumbai has in their batting order, MP would have wanted their premier bowler, Ishwar Pandey to run through Mumbai’s line-up.
Ishwar did exactly that as he dismissed opener Kaustubh Pawar and the dangerous Shreyas Iyer to reduce the defending champions to 56-3. It was when Akhil Herwadkar took charge as he along with Surya Kumar Yadav (41), Aditya Tare (80) and Tushar Deshpande(62) rescued Mumbai from the cusp of conceding the first innings lead.
Herwadkar was the star of the show as he scored a patient 153 and some useful contribution from Siddesh Lad and Abhishek Nayar down the order helped Mumbai reach 567-7 and take the crucial first innings lead. Lad and Nayar remained unbeaten on 100 and 13 respectively.
Bengal vs Punjab, Bilaspur (Bengal 3 points, Punjab 1 point)
All eyes were on Yuvraj Singh as Punjab took on Bengal at the picturesque Lohnu cricket stadium at Bilaspur. After dismissing Bengal for 404 in the first innings, Punjab looked up to their experienced skipper to take their side to a first innings lead. But, Yuvraj was dismissed by yet another Indian discard Ashok Dinda for just 22 as his team were bowled out for just 271, thanks to five-wicket hauls from Ashok Dinda and Amit Kuila respectively.
With a 133-run first innings lead, Manoj Tiwary’s 92 helped Bengal post 227 on the board in the second innings and set Punjab a target of 360. Pragyan Ojha took 4 wickets to give his team an 115-run win. Yuvraj failed once again as he was dismissed by Ojha for just 26.
Railways vs Gujarat, Lahli (Gujarat: 6 points, Railways: 0 points)
After a sloppy show in the first innings, Gujarat batsmen called the right shots in the second innings to earn their side a 294-run win against Railways. Priyank Panchal’s brisk 101 set the tone for the Parthiv Patel-led side in the second innings before the skipper himself along with Manpreet Juneja, Chirag Gandhi and Bharghav Merai scored half-centuries to take their team to a huge total of 437-7 at the time of declaration.
With a 63-run first innings lead, Gujarat set Railways a target of 501 to win. With a mammoth total to chase down, Railways batsmen succumbed under pressure as they failed to bat out the time and gave away Gujarat a 294-run win.
Earlier in the match, Deepak Bansal’s 6-wicket haul in the first innings helped Railways to bowl out Gujarat for just 187 on day 1. In return, Railways were bundled out for just 124, 63 short of Gujarat’s total, thanks to a brilliant spell of seam bowling by Mehul Patel, who ended up taking 5-35 in the first innings.