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Ranji Trophy: How Saurashtra, Uttarakhand, Bengal, and Andhra reached the quarterfinals





won 4, lost 1, drawn 2 (2 first innings leads); Points – 32

Twice this season, against Uttar Pradesh and Baroda, Bengal were on the back foot. But both times, they showed immense self-confidence to turn things around and win. Those two games aside, Bengal flexed their muscles for most of the group stage before being upstaged by Odisha in their final group match at the Eden Green Top, where they were ruled out by Anstop Majumdar (thumb injury). And deprived of the services of Akash Deep. (Riot) and Shahbaz Ahmad (National Duty). Bengal want to win for Manoj Tiwary, who is determined to go out with the Ranji Trophy title. They came close two seasons ago, but lost to Saurashtra in the final. Can they emulate Simbaran Banerjee’s class of 1989-90? At number one is Jharkhand, their eastern zone rivals.

Top performer

Bengal has given awards to actors irrespective of age. 38-year-old Anastup Majumdar has been a shining example. He has lived up to his billing as a crisis man and is their second highest run-getter with 565 runs in 10 innings at 62.77. Fully in effect, his 83 not out in the second innings of chasing a tough 257 in his opening game. In total, he has scored two centuries and two fifties so far. The Bengals hope he will recover from a thumb injury before the quarters.

Amid allegations of financial mismanagement by the association, complaints by players of a lack of facilities and delayed payments, and “influential” members interfering in selections, cricket in Uttarakhand continues to thrive. In the quarter-finals last season, when they were beaten in little over two days by Mumbai, who recorded the biggest run-wise win in first-class cricket, it threatened to blow their lids. But a young group, led by a new captain in Jeonjot Singh, has rallied to surprise some big teams. Wins against Nagaland and Odisha set them up, before they opened the group by beating Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 runners-up Himachal Pradesh by 49 runs and winning their third game in a row. First innings honors against UP and Baroda sealed their knockout berth.

Top performer

Mayank Mishra has become one of the linchpins of Uttarakhand over time. The left-arm spinner is the leading wicket-taker with 32 scalps in seven matches. In doing so, he has proved equally successful against elite teams. His ten-wicket haul against Bengal is a case in point. Able to bowl long spells and hold one end together, Mishra has given the fast bowlers plenty of comfort in terms of maintaining pressure.


3 wins, 2 losses, 2 draws (2 first innings leads); Points – 26

A historic first win against Mumbai after a slow start in the first two games. Saurashtra then got rid of Lagjam by defeating Delhi and Hyderabad. However, going into the knockouts, they faced a reality check after losing to Andhra and Tamil Nadu. As if that is not enough, they will be without their impressive captain Jaydev Annadak, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, who led them in the final league fixture due to national commitments. That said, Saurashtra have shown that they are not just about their superstars. It has helped them reach two finals in the last three seasons, including a historic first title in 2020.

Top actor

If you don’t get Ravinder, Dharminder Singh Jadeja will. The left-arm spinning all-rounder has been key to Saurashtra’s success. In the lower middle order, he has played great knocks, such as a second-innings 90 off Turner in a match-winning effort against Mumbai. In the same match, he also returned six wickets with the ball in a 51-run victory. Overall, he is their highest wicket-taker with 29 wickets in seven matches. A special mention should also be made of rookie Yuvraj Singh Dudia, who in his debut season took 26 wickets in just five games with his loopy off-spin, able to exploit Jadeja’s breakdown at one end. .

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