Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Quarterfinals: Day 2 Review

Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Quarterfinals: Day 2 Review

Shreyas Gopal ensured his team stayed on the top with a fighting unbeaten 80.

Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal of Karnataka (Photo Source: Twitter)

The second day of the quarterfinals of the ongoing Ranji Trophy ended with a sensational collapse of the defending champions Gujarat against Bengal. While Mumbai struggled to make their way back into the match against Karnataka, Delhi looked firm with the bat against the bowlers of Madhya Pradesh. Kerala stumbled with the bat early on but their bowlers have bowled out Vidarbha to a cheap total as the teams are looking to book their spot in the semifinals.

Bowlers of Bengal bring life to the game

Bengal posted a competitive total of 354 thanks to the lower order contributions from Amit Boddupalli and Aamir Gani. The former also came back to rock the defending champions with the ball and scalped three wickets at the back end of the day. Gujarat finished the hard-fought day on 180/6, still, 174 runs adrift of the total posted by their opposition. The century partnership between Parthiv Patel and Bhargav Merai had brought things back on track after losing the openers early.

But Amit triggered a mini-collapse in the final session and also threatened to bowl them out until stumps. But the duo of Rujul Bhatt and Piyush Chawla came to the fore and added 36 in the remaining 14 overs and avoided any further hiccups on the way. The third day is going to be very crucial and Gujarat would love to reach closer to Bengal’s score to have any chance to make a comeback in the game.

Delhi and MP game balanced

Harpreet Singh managed to score a brilliant unbeaten ton for Madhya Pradesh which helped his side propel from being 223/6 to 338 in the first innings against Delhi. In reply, Delhi lost their ace player Gautam Gambhir early, but Kunal Chandela and Dhruv Shorey built a good stand of 145 runs which was broken by Ankit Sharma by dismissing the latter. Delhi ended the day happier of the two sides yet again on 180/2, only 158 runs away from taking the first innings lead. Nitish Rana is looking strong alongside Chandela as they will look to build another partnership on Saturday.

Kerala rode on five-fer of KC Akshay

Vidarbha was bowled out for only 246, a decent total given they were reeling at 95/6 at one stage. KC Akshay rattled the batting line-up with an amazing five-wicket haul only to be resurrected by key contributions by the lower order. Kerala, however, struggled during the tricky seven-over period and lost two crucial wickets in reply which brought the game in balance yet again. The score read 32/2 for them with their most in-form batsman Sanju Samson yet to arrive at the crease. They will need only one big partnership before they start to take a lead and the initiative in the game.

Karnataka strengthen their position against Mumbai

Karnataka continued to be in strong position and went from strength to strength on the second day against Mumbai. They had taken a handsome lead of 222 runs when the umpires decided to call stumps and look firm favourites to seal their spot in the semifinals. Mumbai bowlers looked hapless as the pitch has flattened out considerably and has to make the move on if they are hoping to make a miraculous comeback in the match. Shivam Dubey was the only bowler who bowled beautifully and took a five-wicket haul.

As many as four batsmen scored half-centuries for Karnataka with Shreyas Gopal being unbeaten on 80 and would love to score a century on the third day as his team will look to extend the lead beyond 300. Mumbai, on the other hand, needs to bat extremely well in their second attempt to stand any chance to win the match which is looking highly impossible currently.

Brief Score:

1st Quarterfinal: Gujarat v Bengal

Bengal 354 (A Easwaran 129, A Majumdar 94; I Chaudhary 5/87)

Gujarat 180/6 (B Merai 67, P Patel 47; A Boddupalli 3/46

2nd Quarterfinal: Delhi v Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh 338 (H Singh 107*, A Dane 59, N Ojha 49; M Sharma 4/46, V Mishra 3/58)

Delhi 180/2 (D Shorey 78, K Chandela 73*)

3rd Quarterfinal: Kerala v Vidarbha

Vidarbha 246 (A Wadkar 53; KC Akshay 5/66)

Kerala 32/2

4th Quarterfinal: Kerala v Mumbai

Mumbai 173 (D Kulkarni 75; V Kumar 6/34, S Aravind 2/45)

Karnataka 395/6 (S Gopal 80*, M Agarwal 78, CM Gautam 79, M Abbas 50; S Dubey 5/79)