Ranji Trophy: Rishabh Pant Roars Back To Form, Nitish Rana Ton Puts Delhi On Top
Ranji Trophy round-up: In group A Nitish Rana and Rishabh Pant put Delhi on top. In group B Saurashtra bundle out Kerala for 225 and in group C Ankit Sharma and Ankit Dane steady Madhya Pradesh after early jolts.
Rishabh Pant showed his natural flair for strokeplay with an attractive 99 in company of a reliable Nitish Rana (110 batting) as Delhi were comfortably placed 260 for 4 against Maharashtra on truncated first day of the fifth round encounter of Ranji Trophy. In all only 62 overs of play was possible after light deteriorated in the final session. Pant, who has not had any significant contribution during the current season did not get bogged down by the fall of wickets as his 99 off 110 balls had eight boundaries and six huge sixes.
Pant was finally snapped at slips by rival captain Ankit Bawne off Chirag Khurana but not before he has entertained one and all at the Airforce ground with his exhilarating strokeplay. He was especially severe on off-break bowler Khurana, whom he hit for four sixes -- all down the ground.
Rana is having a good Ranji season with scores of 110 (vs Assam), 89 (vs Railways), 67 (vs UP) in previous matches apart from his fourth first-class ton in the current game.
Pant was lucky to have been dropped twice at 44 and 73 -- especially the second one off Khurana in the long-off region. He was unlucky when he tried to play a defensive stroke but the edge was taken just a run shirt of his fifth first-class hundred.
Delhi 260 for 4 (Nitish Rana 110 batting, Rishabh Pant 99, Chirag Khurana 2/71) vs Maharashtra.
-- Jadeja takes six-wicket haul to bundle out Kerala for 225 in group B --
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja took a six-wicket haul to enable Saurashtra bundle out Kerala for a meagre 225 on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match on Friday. At stumps, Saurashtra were 37 without loss with Robin Uthappa unbeaten on 20 and Snell Patel on 16. Opting to bat upon winning the toss, Kerala lost their openers early but Rohan Prem (29) and Sanju Samson (68) managed to steady the boat. The duo put on 82 runs stand together to take the team past 100-run mark.
However, Prem's dismissal triggered a collapse and Kerala kept losing wickets at regular intervals and even Samson failed to put up a resistance, falling for 68 off 104 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes. Salman Nizar (28) chipped in with some runs down the order but Kerala's innings folded in 78 overs. Jadeja finished with impressive figures of six for 112.
Kerala 1st innings: 225 all out (Sanju Samson 68; Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 6/112). Saurashtra 1st innings 37 for no loss.
-- MP recovers from 67/5 to make 224/7 vs TN on day one in group C --
Tamil Nadu let Madhya Pradesh off the hook allowing them to reach 224 for 7 after having them at 67 for 5 at one stage at close on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match on Friday. Ankit Sharma (75 batting) and Ankit Dane (63) came together with the team in trouble after being sent into bat by Tamil Nadu. They defied K Vignesh (3 for 27) and M Mohammed (2 for 46) and steadied the innings. Tamil Nadu, which needs to win its two remaining matches outright to stand a chance of advancing to the knockouts, started in right earnest as Rajat Patidar was caught by skipper Abhinav Mukund off Mohammed for 11.
Mohammed struck again to remove Aditya Shrivastava (13) to leave Madhya Pradesh at 40 for 2. Fast-medium bowler Vignesh, one of the finds of the previous season for Tamil Nadu, scalped three batsmen in the space of 27 runs in a superb spell. First, he had the talented young Shubham Sharma caught behind for 8, before sending back Hapreet Singh Bhatia (4). In the 27th over, he struck a big blow by dismissing the experienced Devendra Bundela, the captain for 20, putting Tamil Nadu in control.
Madhya Pradesh 224 for 7 in 80 overs (Ankit Sharma 75 batting, Ankit Dane 63, K Vignesh 3 for 27) vs Tamil Nadu.