There is no saying how either of the Ranji Trophy semi-final matches will pan out as Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand made spirited comebacks on day two after being on the back-foot on Sunday.
Clearly, the Jharkhand side was calmed and rejuvenated by an MS Dhoni pep talk as they clawed their way back in Nagpur. Gujarat were on top at the start of the day’s play, resuming at a commanding 288/3.
After scalping the season’s top scorer, Priyank Panchal, early on, the first-time semi-finalists’ frontline bowlers – Ajay Yadav, Vikash Singh and Rahul Yadav – triggered a mini-collapse in the Gujarat ranks. RP Singh’s cameo, though, took Parthiv Patel’s side close to the 400-mark. Despite their spirited display, Jharkhand are still 176 runs behind Gujarat, finishing at 214/5.
At Rajkot, defending champions Mumbai lost three late wickets after Suryakumar Yadav (73) and Praful Waghela (48) built a solid 121-run stand. Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 305, but a fine display with the ball in the final session helped them get back in the game.
Careless Mumbai cede control
Shardul Thakur and Abhishek Nayar carried on from where they left on day one to wrap up the Tamil Nadu tail and bowl them out for 305. Thakur and Nayar finished with four wickets a piece.
Seventeen-year-old Prithvi Shaw’s first-class debut lasted all of five deliveries, but the experienced Suryakumar Yadav and Waghela held firm. The Mumbai opener held one end up, while Yadav was his free-flowing self, finding gaps with ease.
Medium-pacer Vijay Shankar dismissed Yadav and Waghela and Siddhesh Lad fell soon after. Skipper Aditya Tare and Shreyas Iyer, though, stablised the 41-time champions in the final hour of the day’s play. The Tamil Nadu pacers were rewarded for their persistence when the chips were down.
Despite Jharkhand’s fightback, Gujarat have upper hand
Veteran left-armer RP Singh starred with the bat and ball for Gujarat, but Jharkhand narrowly edged their opponents in the day’s play. Saurabh Tiwary’s side did a fine job to halt Gujarat from posting a huge first-innings score.
RP Singh scalped early wickets to leave Jharkhand in trouble, but the big-hitting Ishan Kishan’s boundary-filled half-century helped his side find their way back. Kishan’s wicket at the tail-end of the day’s play saw momentum swing back in Gujarat’s favour.
- Tamil Nadu 305 (Baba Indrajith 64, Kaushik Gandhi 50; Abhishek Nayar 4/66, Shardul Thakur 4/75) lead Mumbai 171/4 (Suryakumar Yadav 73, Praful Waghela 48; Aushik Srinivas 1/22, Vijay Shankar 1/14) by 134 runs.
- Gujarat 390 (Priyank Panchal 149, Parthiv Patel 62; Ajay Yadav 3/67, Rahul Shukla 3/71) lead Jharkhand 214/5 (Ishan Kishan 61, Ishank Jaggi 40 not out; RP Singh 3/48) by 176 runs.