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Ranji Trophy: Dube, Vihari roar back to form in record-breaking week

article_imageRANJI ROUND-UP
Last updated on 29 Jan 2024 | 03:56 PM
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Ranji Trophy: Dube, Vihari roar back to form in record-breaking week

A complete recap of the fourth week of Ranji Trophy 2023/24, which saw several great individual performances

Notable results from last week 

Bengal 405 beat Assam 103 & 140 by an innings and 162 runs.

Karnataka 241 & 151 beat Tripura 200 & 163 by 29 runs

Hyderabad 641 for 4 decl beat Arunachal Pradesh 172 & 256 by an innings and 187 runs

Uttar Pradesh 324 & 195 for 8 beat Mumbai 198 & 320 by 2 wickets

Railways 312 & 228 beat Gujarat 198 & 159 by 184 runs

Delhi 147 & 264 for 9 decl. beat Uttarakhand 239 & 165 by 7 runs

Also check out - Points table after week four, along with the scorecards of all the games

Top performers of the week

Tanmay Agarwal (Hyderabad)

The 28-year-old Tanmay Agarwal produced one of the most entertaining innings in first-class history, smashing 34 fours and 26 sixes in a record-breaking 181-ball 366. A staggering 79.6% of his runs were scored through boundaries, smashing the fastest ever triple ton in first-class history, getting there off just 147 deliveries. The Hyderabad batter sent the Arunachal fielders on a leather hunt they may potentially never recover from. 

Here’s Anirudh Kasargod with the records that the Hyderabad opener shattered during his knock.

N Jagadeesan (Tamil Nadu)

Just when you thought N Jagadeesan’s unbeaten 245 against Railways in the previous round was going to be the highlight of his season, he has bettered with a triple century in this round against Chandigarh in Coimbatore. Jagadeesan’s 321 came at a strike-rate of nearly 80. He had a memorable first-class season 2022-23 as well, scoring 534 runs at 48.54, which included two fifties and as many tons in 12 innings. He has already accumulated 600 runs at 200 this season. An India call-up around the corner?

Agni Chopra (Mizoram)

If you ever want to know what a perfect start to a first-class career looks like, look no further than Mizoram’s Agni Chopra. He has slammed 767 runs in eight innings at an average of 95.87. Moreover, he has scored at least one ton in every single match. In the recent game against Meghalaya, the 25-year-old slammed 105 off 90 in the first innings and followed that up with a 71-ball 101 to help his side to a comfortable 191-run victory. Seems like he's writing a better script than his father Vidhu Vinod Chopra. 

Shivam Dube (Mumbai)

Shivam Dube made a successful return to international cricket in white-ball cricket, but in this round of the Ranji Trophy, he nearly took Mumbai over the line with a timely century. He came in when Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 59 for 4 and then were in deep trouble when they lost two more wickets with just 89 on the board. Dube counter-attacked and had Shams Mulani keeping one end steady. He took Mumbai to 320 to give them a fighting chance, but in the end UP rallied to secure a narrow two-wicket victory.

Nitish Rana (Uttar Pradesh)

Nitish Rana slammed his first Ranji Trophy ton in four years, for his new team Uttar Pradesh, against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. Rana left Delhi due to indifferences with skipper Yash Dhull, who led the side after just one season with them. Rana moved away from Delhi after serving them for 10 years, and during his celebration, it seemed he took a dig at his former skipper. He seemed to be dusting his bat with a towel, and Dhull (धूल) in Hindi means dust (Get it?). His ton proved pivotal as UP went on to win the game by two runs.

Some more notable performances

Rajesh Mohanty (Odisha) - 28, 3 for 56 & 5 for 33

Mahesh Pithiya (Baroda) – 50, 2 for 98 & 5 for 82

Shubham Singh Pundir (Jammu & Kashmir) - 172

Sai Kishore (Tamil Nadu) – 3 for 31 & 5 for 80

Vijaykumar Vyshak – 50, 2 for 64 & 3 for 62

Himmat Singh (Delhi) - 194 

Himanshu Chahuan (Delhi) – 2 for 54 & 5 for 39

Shreyas Gopal (Kerala) – 137 & 3 for 94

Ravi Bishnoi (Gujarat) – 2 for 83 & 5 for 76

Youngsters in spotlight

Ashutosh Sharma (Railways)

It was a dream debut for Ashutosh Sharma, who slammed a superb century to lead his side to a memorable victory over Gujarat. The right-handed batter slammed 123 off just 84 deliveries coming in at eight and followed that up with a 28-ball 31 as his side went on to win by 184 runs.

Pradosh Ranjan Paul (Tamil Nadu)

Fresh from an excellent tour of South Africa and home Tests against England Lions, Pradosh Ranjan Paul continues to make the right noises in domestic cricket. The 23-year-old smashed 105 against Chandigarh, putting on 233 runs for the second wicket with Jagadeesan to put his side in a commanding position. The southpaw averages over 66 in his first 14 first-class matches and is tipped to have a bright future.

Mahipal Lomror (Rajasthan)

Mahipal Lomror had a memorable game against Manipur, slamming his sixth first-class ton in his side’s innings and 42-run victory in Ahmedabad. He scored an unbeaten 117 from a precarious position after Rajasthan were reduced to 84 for 4 when he walked in. He managed just 42 runs from the two innings before this game and the 24-year-old seems to have found form just at the right time.

Kunal Singh Rathore (Rajasthan)

In his 10 innings before this, Kunal Singh Rathore had managed just 203 runs. However, against Manipur, the 21-year-old slammed a counter-attacking 156 off just 138 deliveries and glittered with 13 fours and eight sixes. He put on an unbeaten 130-run stand with Lomror to help his side to a comfortable win over Manipur. He also pouched 10 catches in the match to further show his prowess behind the wickets.

Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal (Bengal)

24-year-old had Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal had a memorable game against Assam, where he registered his highest Test score and the best bowling figures. He scored 52 off 75 coming in at nine and finished with eight wickets, including 5 for 43 in the second innings.

Disappointment of the week

Ajinkya Rahane (Mumbai)Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane seems to have found a consistent place in this column of our round-up week in, week out. Against Uttar Pradesh, the India discard scored 8 and 9 as his side went down by two wickets. In his five wickets in the Ranji Trophy season so far he has managed scores of 0, 0, 16, 8 and 9. Long way back for the former India vice-captain for sure. To make matters worse, he also seemed to have injured his hamstring during his innings and did not take to the field after that.

Yash Dhull (Delhi)

Yash Dhull has not been in the best of forms this season having managed just 170 runs at 24.28 in seven innings, which is not what Delhi would have expected after the stellar start he made to his first-class career, where he scored three tons in his first three matches. He has not managed to score more than 47 in his seven innings this season, which is certainly a cause for concern. However, his 47 against Uttarakhand played a key role in his side’s seven-run victory.

India International watch

Cheteshwar Pujara (Saurashtra)

Cheteshwar Pujara started off his Ranji Trophy season with a brilliant unbeaten 243, but after that got many starts, but failed to convert. However, he played a crucial knock against Services, hitting 91 to help his side draw the game after coming out to bat following an injury that saw him retired hurt when he was batting on six. 

Umesh Yadav (Vidarbha)

Umesh Yadav has been in excellent form this season. He picked up five wickets against Services, seven against Saurashtra and in the recent match against Jharkhand he picked up six as Vidarbha romped home to a comfortable 308-run victory.

Navdeep Saini (Delhi)

Playing his first game of the season, Navdeep Saini finished with figures of 4 for 57 against Uttarakhand to help his side to a close win in Mohali. He showed his class, removing four of the top five batters to put his team on top initially.

Venkatesh Iyer (Madhya Pradesh)

With scores of 89, 53, 19, 16* and 11, one felt a big score for Venkatesh Iyer was just around the corner. He achieved that, hitting 135 against Puducherry as Madhya Pradesh romped home to a 319-run victory. 

Hanuma Vihari (Andhra)A huge monkey would have been lifted off Hanuma Vihari's back as he finally managed to get a mammoth 183 against Chhattisgarh in Raipur. He had hit just a couple of fifties in the five innings before this, but this knock will give the Andhra batter a massive lift. Could we see the 30-year-old back in the national reckoning with another good Ranji season?

What made the news this week

Rana's regrets

Nitish Rana, who led Uttar Pradesh to a memorable victory over Mumbai with a well-compiled ton said that he regrets not focusing more on red-ball cricket

"During the Covid years, when the IPL was held in two phases, I had stopped focusing on red-ball cricket a little bit," Rana said after his ton. 

"So that set me back somewhat. This year I have worked very hard with the red ball because I wanted to prove, not to anyone else but myself, that I can be a good red-ball player."

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