Advantage Gujarat against Jharkhand
03rd January 2017, 12:00 Hrs
Jharkhand reached 214 for five in their first innings after bowling Gujarat out for 390 as both the teams shared the honours on the second day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final here on Monday.
Resuming the day on a strong position of 283-3, Gujarat were bowled out after adding only 107 runs in their first innings as medium-pacers Ajay Yadav (3-67) and Rahul Shukla (3-71) picked wickets at regular intervals. Jharkhand, in their reply, were left ruing absence of a big partnership as Pratyush Singh (27), Virat Singh (34), Saurabh Tiwary (39) and Ishan Kishan (61) couldn't convert their good starts into big knocks. Ishank Jaggi (40 not out) and Rahul Shukla (0 not out) were at the crease at close of play, with Jharkhand at 214-5 -- still 176 runs behind.
However, maiden semi-finalists Jharkhand must be thankful to their bowlers, especially right-armer Ajay, who bowled his heart out as they bowled Gujarat out for 390 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Ground in Nagpur. Opening batsman Priyank Kirit Panchal (149) could only add five runs to his overnight score as Ajay had him caught by Kaushal Singh in the fourth over of the day. Two overs later, Ajay then removed another overnight batsman, Manpreet Juneja (22), who was caught by Virat Singh. Chirag Gandhi (20 not out) was the third victim of Ajay as Gujarat were in trouble at 323-6.
Shukla then joined in the act, dismantling the stumps of Rush Kalaria (1), as Gujarat lost their seventh wicket for 324. Then Rujul Bhatt (23) and RP Singh (40) shared a 62-run stand to lift Gujarat's confidence. But left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem ended the partnership when he got an LBW decision against Bhatt. Later, Shukla bowled Singh and forced an edge of Jasprit Bumrah (0) to put end to Gujarat's first innings.
Gujarat's Singh continued to torment Jharkhand, claiming the wickets of openers Sumit Kumar and Pratyush (27) to leave the eastern side in a spot of bother at 53-2. Following a brief 46-run stand between Virat (34) and Tiwary (39), trouble again visited Jharkhand's camp as Bhat rattled Virat's stumps. Tiwary departed too, failing to negotiate a delievry from Hardik Patel which hit him on the pads.
At 121-4, Jharkhand needed a big partnership and it came their way with the contributions from Jaggi and Ishan, who put together a 92-run stand. Especially, left-hander Ishan's enchanting strokeplay pressurised Gujarat bowlers, who conceded runs quickly. Ishan, 18, registered his seventh fifty in first-class cricket as he stroked nine fours and three sixes. His 61 runs came from only 59 deliveries as his entertaining innings ended in the penultimate over of the day. Ishan, who captained India in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, offered a catch to Bumrah of Singh, to leave Jharkhand at 213-5.
Day 2: Gujarat 390 (Priyank Kirit Panchal 149, Parthiv Patel 62, RP Singh 40; Ajay Yadav 3-67, Rahul Shukla 3-71) vs Jharkhand 214-5 (Ishan Kishan 61, Ishank Jaggi 40 not out; R.P. Singh 3-48, Rujul Bhatt 1-37).
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