Ranji Trophy 2022-23, Round-Up: Jaydev Unadkat’s 1st over hat-trick against Delhi, Baltej Singh’s 11-wicket haul top returns in 4th round games. Top five games from Round 4.
The much-awaited Ranji Trophy 2022-23 season is now midway through after four rounds of games have been played at venues across the country. The first-round games of the season commenced on December 13, 2022 between 32 teams divided in four Elite groups and six teams placed in the Plate group.
We have been witness to some action-packed cricket featuring spectacular standout performances from teams and individual players alike. From the heroics of Kedar Jadhav against Assam (283 runs off 283 balls) to Jaydev Unadkat’s first over hat-trick against Delhi, we bring you the key highlights from the top 4 games played so far in this season.
Delhi vs Saurashtra in Rajkot
Delhi 133 & 227, Saurashtra 574/8d, Result: Saurashtra won by an innings and 214 runs
Player of the Match: Jaydev Unadkat (8-39 & 70)
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Delhi got off to a horror start as they were jolted early on by Jaydev Unadkat. Unadkat unleashed carnage through his bowling by bagging a first over hat-trick which virtually left Delhi paralysed. He further went on to achieve career-best of 8/39 in that innings. After making a memorable Test comeback after 12 years in the Bangladesh Test series last year, the Saurashtra skipper seems to be riding high on confidence. He looked in sublime form with the ball and delivered a great performance which ultimately triggered a disastrous batting collapse.
After bundling out Delhi for just 133, Saurashtra scripted a clinical batting performance that comprised of several useful partnerships. Harvik Desai (107 off 131), Arpit Vasavada (152 off 251), and skipper Jaydev Undakat (70 off 68) were amongst the leading run-getters. Saurashtra eventually finished on a high after declaring at the fall of the 8th wicket with 574 runs on the board.
Delhi commenced their 2nd innings, trailing by a mammoth 441 runs. Unlike the case in the first innings, Unadkat bowled his heart out but went wicketless in the second innings. However, his counterpart Yuvrajsinh Dodiya chipped in with 5 crucial wickets tarnishing Delhi’s hope of making any comeback in that match. They were eventually bowled out for 227 and lost the game by an innings and 214 runs.
Gujarat vs Punjab in Valsad
Punjab - 286, 329/9d, Gujarat - 97, 138, Result: Punjab won by 380 runs
Player of the Match: Baltej Singh (7-28 & 4-38)
Punjab skipper Mandeep Singh won the toss and decided to bat first on a track that appeared to be spin-friendly. Nehal Wadhera starred with the bat scoring 123 of 255 deliveries. His knock was instrumental in getting Punjab to a commendable total of 286 in the first innings. Chintan Gaja from Gujarat was the pick of the bowler as he went on to achieve an excellent 5-wicket haul.
In reply, the hosts looked in complete disarray as they were bundled out for just 97. Their batting looked very dismal with only 4 batters managing to make it to double figures. Right-arm medium pacer Baltej Singh and leg spinner Mayank Markande exploited the conditions to good effect. With the surface already starting to deteriorate, the duo bagged 9 wickets in total, with Baltej taking 7 of them, leaving Gujarat batters gasping on the field.
After gaining a significant lead, Punjab commenced their second innings with confidence. However, they lost their way in the middle after losing 5 wickets for just 88. But a crucial 7th wicket stand between Naman Dhir and Markande gave Punjab the foundation to post a huge target of 519 in front of Gujarat. Dhir was the centurion this time around as he dominated the Gujarat bowlers with a flawless 134 of 185 balls. Batting woes continued to haunt the home side even in the second innings. A total of 6 batters were dismissed without troubling the scorers and with no reliable partnerships in the middle, Gujarat succumbed to a heavy defeat at home by a margin of 380 runs.
Tamil Nadu vs Mumbai in Mumbai
Tamil Nadu - 144, 548, Mumbai - 481, 137/3, Result: Match drawn
Player of the Match: Sarfaraz Khan (162)
Tamil Nadu were put into bat after Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss. The Tamil Nadu openers failed to get the visitors off to a flyer. Mumbai’s fast and spin bowling combination consisting of Tushar Deshpande and Shams Mulani led to Tamil Nadu’s downfall. Both of them bagged a total of 8 wickets together. Though Pradosh Ranjan Paul tried to offer some form of resistance before succumbing to Deshpande on 55. Tamil Nadu ended their first innings with a total of 144.
Tamil Nadu did start off well with the ball early on. Their bowling attack mainly featuring Trilok Nag, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore and Aswin Crist was able to deliver crucial blows as they managed to leave the hosts reeling at 113-5. With Mumbai still 65 runs behind, Sarfaraz Khan walked into bat and scored a blistering knock of 162 in 220 deliveries getting Mumbai well past Tamil Nadu’s first innings score. Once he was dismissed, tail-enders – Mohit Avasthi and Siddharth Raut - also played their part in frustrating the opposition as they went on to add 92 runs for the 10th wicket. Mumbai ended their first innings with a total of 481.
The visitors started their second innings on a positive note this time around. Unlike the first innings, they displayed some great character with the bat. Baba Indrajith, Pradosh Paul and Vijay Shankar laid a rock-solid foundation for the visitors. The trio managed to pile massive runs with all three batters scoring a century each.
Tamil Nadu were eventually bowled out for 548 handing Mumbai a target of 212 to chase. Mumbai commenced their chase in a collected manner and were cruising along at 137-3, but with no further time left in the last day’s play, the game ended in a draw.
Rajasthan vs Jharkhand in Jaipur
Jharkhand- 92, 470/9d, Rajasthan - 287, 194/4, Result - Match drawn
Player of the Match: Karan Lamba (122*, 37*)
After getting bowled out cheaply for 92, Jharkhand had their back against the wall. All their chances of making any comeback appeared dim. Tanveer Ul-Haq in tandem with Aniket Choudhary ran through the defences of Jharkhand batters in quick time.
Rajashthan in response, posted a decent total of 287, handing them a comfortable lead of 195. The openers got some useful runs on the top followed by Karan Lamba, who shinned with the bat scoring 122 off 184 balls.
It was in the second innings that Jharkhand stunned the opposition with their batting display. This time around, they managed to put up a great batting display. Aryaman Sen along with Anukul Roy and Saurabh Tiwari offered a great deal of resistance scoring 119, 125 and 78 respectively. With their contribution, Jharkhand were able to post a respectable target of 276 for Rajasthan which at one point seemed improbable.
The game eventually ended in a draw but one must laud the fighting spirit of Jharkhand who were pretty much dead and buried in the first innings.
Andhra Pradesh vs Hyderabad in Vizianagaram
Andra Pradesh - 135 & 462, Hyderabad - 197 & 246, Result - Andhra Pradesh won by 154 runs
Player of the match: Ricky Bhui (116)
Hyderabad started off on a positive note by winning the toss and electing to field first. Their decision to bowl first first proved very advantageous as they were able to skittle AP out for just 135. Abhishek Reddy from AP was the only batter who looked composed. Most of the other batters barely managed to reach double figures. Ravi Teja and Kartikeya Kak were the pick of the bowlers for Hyderabad. The duo together bagged a total of 8 wickets that rattled the AP batting line up.
Hyderabad were not able to fully capitalise on their bowling performance. After getting themselves in a commanding position, Hyderabad weren't able to accumulate significant runs. On the other hand, AP bowlers ensured that they don't let the game slip away too much and were able to restrict the opposition to 197.
Trailing by just 62 runs, AP started off their second innings more sensibly. A ton each from Ricky Bhui (116 off 150) and Karan Shinde (105 off 180) followed by some useful contributions from other batters turned things in their favour. Unlike the first innings, Hyderabad bowlers lacked the firepower this time around.
After posting a match-winning target of 401 for Hyderabad, AP were oozing with confidence. The opening bowlers Kodiramakrishna Sasikanth and Kodavandla Sudharsan went all guns blazed going through the defences of Hyderabad batters. They were able to turn things around as AP won the game quite comfortably at the end by 154 runs.