Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Semifinals – Day 2 Round up
Day 2 of the semifinal round finished with both Karnataka and the national capital holding the advantage over Vidarbha and Bengal respectively.
Updated - Dec 18, 2017 7:11 pm
Delhi and Karnataka played some wonderful cricket on difficult tracks, which helped them gain a first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Semifinals. Day 2 of the semifinal round finished with both Karnataka and the national capital holding the advantage over Vidarbha and Bengal respectively. To overturn this situation for both Vidarbha and Bengal will be a massive challenge.
Delhi bowled Bengal out for 286, taking just 7 more overs on the second day to wrap their innings. Navdeep Saini picked up three wickets for his side and gave away just 55 runs. Manan Sharma and Kulwant Khejroliya returned with a brace each.
The Delhi openers Kunal Chandela and veteran Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir absolutely hammered the Bengal bowlers. Even some bowlers with great amount of International exposure like Mohammad Shami and Ashok Dinda were not spared. Dinda was to the cleaners and conceded runs at a rate 4.8 an over.
It was Gambhir who got to a hundred first, in the 38th over of the game with a boundary through mid-off. It was an emotional moment for Chandela, who got to his first three figures score in first-class cricket. After registering 113 off 192 balls, Chandela was finally dismissed by Boddupalli Amit. The duo added a whopping 232 runs in just 61.3 overs.
Bengal gained some kind of momentum towards the end of the day’s play, with Dinda and Shami getting a wicket each. Firstly, Dhruv Shorey was dismissed by Dinda and with Shami dismissing the other centurion on the day, the umpires called it for the day. Nevertheless, Delhi finished at 271/3, just 16 shy of leveling Bengal’s first innings total.
Former champions on track for a berth in the finale
Skipper Karun Nair’s breathtaking innings on a track which never really supported the batters well helped Karnataka gain a huge advatange in the Semifinal game against Vidarbha. Karun Nair clobbered a 261-ball 148 and has remained unbeaten. Currently, Karnataka hold a precious first innings lead of 109 runs.
Losing three wickets very early in the innings yesterday, Karun Nair and CM Gautam ensured they stemmed the bowlers’ momentum. It was a brilliant exhibition of watchful, yet attacking cricketing, which burried Vidarbha’s first innings total halfway through the second day’s play and the lead has already crossed the three digit mark.
CM Gautam first got to his half-century with a beautiful straight-drive and Karun Nair followed the suit after three afters. After adding 139 runs for the fourth wicket, Gautam fell prey to some brilliant and patient bowling from Umesh Yadav. Rajneesh Gurbani picked up three wickets in a quick succession, sending Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, and Krishnappa Gautham back in a span of 39 deliveries.
Karun Nair got to one of the best hundreds he will ever score in the 67th over and he palpably elated. Another wicket fell after a few overs and Karnataka‘s mission of crossing the 250-mark was almost sabotaged. But skipper Vinay Kumar and Karun Nair hung in for a long period of time and registered a crucial partnership to help them reach 294 for the loss of eight wickets.
Bengal v Delhi, 1st Semifinal
Bengal first innings: 286 all out in 94.2 overs (Sudip Chatterjee 86; Navdeep Saini 3/55)
Delhi first innings: 271/3 in 77.2 overs (Gautam Gambhir 127, Kunal Chandela 113)
Karnataka v Vidarbha, 2nd Semifinal
Vidarbha first innings: 185 all out in 61.4 overs
Karnataka first innings: 294/8 in 93 overs (Karun Nair 148*, CM Gautam 73; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/90)