Kishan capitalises his second chance

Ishan Kishan was frustrated getting out softly in the first innings on fine batting conditions. For his second chance, he didn't have to wait long. When he got it, he rocketed Jharkhand to its first Ranji Trophy semifinal.

ranji trophy ishan kishan

Ishan Kishan struck a belligerent half-century to take Jharkhand into its first Ranji Trophy semifinal.   -  Sandeep Saxena

After the third day’s play on Sunday, during a casual chat with reporters Ishan Kishan was furious after getting bowled first ball. It was the softest way to get out as the ball took the inside edge onto his pads, then hit his shoes and rolled onto the stumps.

The 18-year old knew it was a chance to score big on what was a relatively easy wicket. The exuberance of a teenager was on display as he air-batted on how he would have loved to smash the bowlers. Importantly for him, this was the only quarterfinal chosen for broadcast and was a chance to display his skills to a wider audience.

Thankfully for him, he didn’t have to wait long. With a target of 177, 40 overs left in the day, an easy pitch with all the early morning moisture in the wicket baked in the afternoon sun. The platform was set for Kishan on Monday. The senior members of his side asked him to open even though he was reluctant initially.

It was evident immediately that he was not joking on Sunday on how he would have played when he dispatched Harshal Patel behind square. Soon Mohit Sharma found out as Kishan sent one right back over his head over long on, that hit the roof of the Haryana dug-out.

Speaking about his innings, Kishan said, "It was Ishank Jaggi and Sunny Gupta (not part of the playing XI) who told me to open the innings. Jaggi told to go out and enjoy and encouraged saying the worst thing that could happen is you will get out and we will chase it down a bit slowly."

Skipper Saurabh Tiwary added, "the idea behind sending Kishan was we knew if he got going, he could put the game past the opposition. Low scores can be tricky especially if we had to come out tomorrow morning and with early morning moisture helping the pacers, anything could happen. As you saw the we got close to 100 in no time with 10 wickets in hand and the game was beyond them."

By the time Kishan got out, trying to clear the boundary only 36 runs were required with an hour's play to go for the day. He not only put the game beyond Haryana - importantly gave his side an extra day of rest ahead of its first semifinal clash.

An extra day's rest is a luxury for even the best of sides in these times of neutral venues and cross-country trips that at times involves every mode of transport available. Jharkhand now will travel to Nagpur and face the winner of Gujarat-Odisha clash.