Notable results from the second week
Haryana 200 & 168/6 beat Saurashtra 145 & 220 by six wickets
Gujarat 264 & 219 beat Karnataka 374 & 103 by six runs
Uttarakhand 238 & 227 beat Himachal Pradesh 271 & 106 by 88 runs
Top performers of the week
Shams Mulani - 10/161 vs Andhra Pradesh
Just another week in which Shams Mulani tormented a batting unit. Mulani broke the back of Andhra Pradesh’s batting unit with wickets of Shaik Rasheed, Hanuma Vihari, and Ricky Bhui in the first innings, where he picked up 6/65. It was the 11th five-wicket haul in his FC career. He further went on to pick up four more wickets in the second innings as Mumbai made life so much easier for themselves.
Subhranshu Senapati - 277 vs Madhya Pradesh
Undoubtedly, the best First-Class display in a long time. What Subhranshu Senapati did was unprecedented in Odisha this decade, with a 277 for the ages. Coming up against a tough unit in the form of Madhya Pradesh, Senapati put on a show, notching up the second-highest score for a batter from Odisha.
He scored 55.6% of the side’s runs, walking in at 15/2. While wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end, Senapati was unperturbed, with 19 fours and 11 sixes, batting at a steady strike-rate of 56.88. In fact, the right-hander also put on a 238-run partnership with Harshit Rathod, which also happens to be the third-best eighth-wicket partnership in Ranji Trophy history.
Kedar Jadhav - 182 vs Jharkhand
Counter-attacking centuries laced with boundaries were the theme of this week’s Ranji Trophy action. If Senapati’s 277 was a masterclass, Kedar Jadhav’s 182 was an attacking masterclass, with the veteran smacking 21 FOURS and five sixes at a strike-rate of 84.25.
On a good batting surface, Jadhav ensured Maharashtra were in the driver’s seat, partnering with Pavan Shah to help his side extend the lead to 198 against a strong Jharkhand outfit.
Suyash Prabhudesai - 197 vs Chandigarh
Opening the innings, the RCB all-rounder was the star for Goa against Chandigarh, scoring 197, with 18 fours and one six. The right-hander batted for 364 deliveries and formed partnerships with five other batters before eventually getting out three shy of another double-century. Deepraj Gaonkar was the only other Goan batter to score a century in the fixture.
Positive signs ahead of the 2024 IPL.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 8/41 vs Bengal
Bhuvneshwar Kumar stole the limelight. After the rumours of BCCI forcing the right-arm seamer to take part in the Ranji Trophy, Bhuvneshwar put on a show in his Ranji return. After Bengal shot Uttar Pradesh for just 60 in the first innings, they relied on Bhuvneshwar to make a mark in the fixture.
And he did. Bhuvi picked up his first wicket in the 11th over of the innings before running through the Bengal batting unit with the next seven wickets against his name. Five of the eight dismissals were either bowled or LBW, with the other three being caught-behind by the wicketkeeper. It was quite an extraordinary spell from the veteran.
Siddharth Desai - 9/155 vs Karnataka
An impact like no other. Siddharth Desai was a one-man tormentor that the Karnataka batters would now fear for the rest of their lives. Despite Karnataka being well placed at 50/0 chasing 110, Desai kick-started a procession with the wicket of Mayank Agarwal.
And what followed was carnage, with the left-arm spinner absolutely dominating Karnataka batters, with figures of 7/42 in the second innings, running through the rest of the batting outfit.
Other notable showings from the first week
Mayank Agarwal - 109 and 19 vs Gujarat
Sachin Baby - 131 vs Assam
V Koushik - 4/49 and 3/16 vs Gujarat
Aditya Sarwate - 4/6, 5/10 and 69 vs Manipur
Deepak Dhapola - 4/53 and 5/31 vs Himachal Pradesh
Aditya Tare - 100 and 79 vs Himachal Pradesh
Youngsters who shone
Riyan Parag - 116 vs Kerala
Another week, another match day when Riyan Parag smashed a century, this time an impactful ton against Kerala, in front of his parents. His 116 is a major reason why Assam are still in the game, with the entire team only scoring 248 runs in their first innings.
Shaik Rasheed - 69 vs Mumbai
Another talented wicketkeeper batter, Shaik Rasheed, made a fluent 66 in the second innings against Mumbai, where he struck eight fours and a six. Rasheed was only the second batter from Andhra Pradesh in the clash to score over 50 in an innings, with Prashanth Kumar being the other. While he was a substitute fielder in the last IPL season, his batting stocks are slowly rising.
Nitish Kumar Reddy - 5/64 and 30 vs Mumbai
Pace-bowling all-rounders are quite a rare commodity. That’s where Nitish Kumar Reddy has his expertise, with the Andhra all-rounder impressing one and all with figures of 5/64 in the first innings, where he removed Ajinkya Rahane for a golden duck. While he was dismissed for a duck in the first dig with the bat, he scored an enterprising 30 off 33 in the second innings.
Nishant Sindhu - 6/106 and 31 vs Saurashtra
Player of the match in Haryana's clash against domestic behemoth Saurashtra, Nishant Sindhu showed why CSK rate him so highly. The left-arm spinning all-rounder picked up a crucial 5/83 in the second dig against Saurashtra, where he removed both the set batters, Cheteshwar Pujara and Arpit Vasavada. His 24 also played a crucial role in Haryana chasing 168.
Disappointments of the week
Ajinkya Rahane - 0 (1) vs Andhra Pradesh
On his Ranji Trophy return, Ajinkya Rahane could only score a duck. A first-ball duck. Nitish Kumar Reddy’s stunning delivery put an early end to Rahane’s stay. Such a disappointing return after not playing in the previous clash against Bihar.
Rahul Tripathi - 45 vs Chandigarh
Rahul Tripathi can’t quite catch a break. His dismal run continues in domestic cricket, with just 45 runs against Chandigarh on a surface that saw his team score 618 runs in the first innings. Over the last year, the right-hander has had quite a steep fall after his appearance for the national team, having moved to Goa from Maharashtra.
Hanuma Vihari - 52 vs Mumbai
Hanuma Vihari’s domestic record is stellar. So much so that it would leave many others envious. But his recent showing against Mumbai was far away from stealing the limelight. He only scored 52 runs and did not really increase his chances of returning to the national team.
Indian international watch
Bhuvneshwar - 8/41 vs Bengal
As mentioned previously, Bhuvneshwar’s return is one of the biggest headline acts of this week’s Ranji Trophy action, with the Uttar Pradesh bowler picking up eight wickets while conceding just 41 runs.
Shreyas Iyer - 48 vs Andhra Pradesh
Iyer returned to Ranji cricket action after a long time, and on his return, the right-handed batter scored an impressive 48, where he looked like a million dollars. Not just that, the Mumbaikar also had to face a lot of short balls during his stay at the crease, where he even put a few to the boundary. In all, it was impressive, but he could have scored more.
Cheteshwar Pujara - 49 and 43 vs Haryana
That’s it? Pujara’s dual knock of 49 and 43 was the only bit of resistance that Saurashtra put up against Haryana’s bowling attack. In fact, in the first innings, Pujara’s 49 was the highest score for Saurashtra. Even his 43 in the second innings was only second-best to Arpit Vasavada’s 45. A typical Pujara-esque innings.
Prasidh Krishna - 2/62 vs Gujarat
Prasidh Krishna only bowled 14.5 overs in the first innings against Gujarat before hobbling off with an injury to his left quadriceps. It seemed like there would be an abrupt end to his game, but then the pacer returned in Karnataka’s run-chase, where he scored a crucial 7 in a heart-breaking six-run defeat against Gujarat.
What made the news this week
Two stunning upsets
Haryana beat Saurashtra
Gujarat beat Karnataka
Two results that you wouldn’t have put on your bingo card this year. Haryana beating Saurashtra was the first big upset of this week’s clashes, with Nishant Sindhu’s stellar showing - both with the bat and ball, being responsible for their four-wicket win.
On the other hand, it was a one-man show from Siddharth Desai in the second innings, where the left-arm spinner accounted for seven Karnataka batters, helping Gujarat defend their lowest-ever score in Ranji Trophy history - 110. Karnataka were well placed at 50/0 before the left-arm spinner triggered a collapse.
Yash Dhull, no longer Delhi’s captain
Just one game into the long Ranji Trophy season, Delhi have replaced their skipper, Yash Dhull, with 27-year-old Himmat Singh, who will now lead the team for the remainder of the competition. Delhi lost their first season clash against Puducherry in front of their home fans at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, which led to the change in captaincy.
Dhull scored 2 and 23 in Delhi’s previous clash against Puducherry before getting the sack.
Ranji Trophy: Gaikwad's knock helps Saurashtra qualify for QF; Railways chase down record target
Ranji Trophy: Padikkal slams 151 as Karnataka, TN play out a thriller
Ranji Trophy: Hitesh Walunj’s 14-wicket rout headlines bowler-dominated week
Ranji Trophy: Dube, Vihari roar back to form in record-breaking week
Ranji round 3: Jagadeesan goes big; Rahane continues to disappoint
Gaurav Nandan Tripathi
Padikkal, Parag and Pujara light-up the first week of Ranji Trophy
If not KS Bharat, then who?
Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022/23 - Team of the Tournament
Ranji Trophy 2021-22: Team of the Tournament