Ranji Q/F: Kishan takes Jharkhand to first-ever semifinal

Ishan Kishan, promoted to open Jharkhand's chase of 176, belted 86 off 61 to help his team enter its first Ranji Trophy semifinal. Earlier, his team-mate Shahbaz Nadeem picked up four wickets as Haryana was dismissed for 262.

ishan kishan

Ishan Kishan raises his bat after scoring his fifty off 37 balls.   -  S. Dipak Ragav

Just as Mahendra Singh Dhoni enters the last stage of his career, another swashbuckling wicketkeeper batsman from Jharkhand is destined for big things.

On Monday 18-year-old Ishan Kishan, who's already marked as a Team India prospect, made a strong case for himself as he pummeled Haryana into submission and helped Jharkhand reach its first Ranji Trophy semifinal after a five-wicket win here at the Moti Bagh Stadium.

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Kishan, who captained the India in the under-19 World Cup this year in Bangladesh, blitzed his way to a 61-ball 86 as he belted the Haryana bowlers all over the park as Jharkhand chased down a target of 176 in just 30.2 overs on the fourth day.

Promoted to open the innings, Kishan smashed nine fours and six sixes as he made the Haryana bowling - which included Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra and Yuzvendra Chahal - look pedestrian.

The left-hander, who has over 600 runs this season with three centuries including a double hundred, started his innings with an effortless six off his pads off Harshal Patel behind square. He then picked two boundaries off Mishra -- the first one over long on, then sweeping a googly to fine leg.

Soon Chahal was at the receiving end of his brutal attack. Kishan came down to a ball pitched on the rough wide outside off-stump and deposited it over the cover boundary. He followed it up with a six over long off in the same over to get to his half-century off just 37 balls.

The relentless attack sucked Haryana's last glimmer of hope.

Earlier, Shahbaz Nadeem once again came to Jharkhand's rescue as he picked up a four-wicket haul to bowl out Haryana for 262. After weathering the opening half-hour, Haryana started to crumble with Nadeem scalping Shivam Chauhan and had Rajat Paliwal caught at first slip by Ishank Jaggi. By lunch Haryana lost six wickets and was reduced to 234 for eight.

With his four-wicket haul, Nadeem reached the 50-wicket mark for the second time in as many seasons. The 27-year-old finished with figures of 11 for 157 in the match and was duly awarded the man of the match.