Ranji: Bowlers have a ball

Assam gains the upper hand as 16 wickets fall on Day Two.

A file photo of Assam's Krishna Das, who took three wickets for 54 runs.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Sometimes, just sometimes, cricket ceases to be a batsman’s game. Thursday was one such day.

Bowlers ruled the roost as 16 wickets fell on the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal between Assam and Punjab at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium here.

> Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

When stumps were drawn, Assam was 23 for four in its second innings for a lead of 209 with three days to go.

Resuming its first innings on 223 for eight, Assam had J. Syed Mohammad to thank for its eventual total of 323. The left-hander, who took to the crease with 50 to his name, batted with gay abandon to notch up his second first-class hundred (121, 223b, 16x4, 2x6). The No. 7 batsman smashed an array of boundaries all over the park, and capped it with an imperious swivelling hook over the fine-leg fence to bring up his ton as well as Assam’s 300.

Punjab’s reply was meek to say the least. It lost four wickets with the scoreboard reading 13, three of those falling in the fifth over bowled by pacer Krishna Das. Only Uday Kaul (25) and Mayank Sidhana (80 not out, 131b, 10x4) managed double figures as the Harbhajan Singh-led side was shot out for 137 in 47.2 overs.

Armed with a lead of 186, Assam lost Pallav Kumar Das off the first delivery in the second essay. Barinder Singh Sran then made it nine for two, 13 for three and 13 for four in quick time.

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