Ranji Trophy: Brilliant Ishan wrests control for Jharkhand

Young Ishan Kishan produced an innings of savage brilliance (162 batting) as Jharkhand wrested advantage against Delhi at the end of opening day’s play in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground here on Saturday.

Ishan Kishan celebrates his century against Delhi.   -  Special Arrangement

Young Ishan Kishan produced an innings of savage brilliance (162 batting) as Jharkhand wrested advantage against Delhi at the end of opening day’s play in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground here on Saturday.

Walking in after Delhi seamers had reduced Jharkhand to 80 for four, the 18-year-old Ishan took the fight to the opposition camp with his audacious stroke play. Ishan clubbed six sixes apart from 14 boundaries in his 213 ball knock to maul the Delhi attack. Delhi’s fielding was also awful with Ishan Kishan, Kaushal Singh, Ishank Jaggi given a life each. The batsmen enjoyed their slices of luck to pile on agony for the bowlers.

Ishan was involved in two century stands — 116 run fifth wicket stand with Ishank Jaggi and 120 runs sixth wicket stand with Kaushal Singh — that carried his team to safety.

The pitch eased out as the sun came out shining after lunch and the Delhi attack lost its sting. The batsmen thrived in batting friendly conditions. Ishank Jaggi scored freely against Delhi medium pacers while Ishan, who was circumspect initially, took on the spinners who could hardly create an impression. However, Jaggi attempted a cross batted heave against Sood and only managed an edge which was snapped up by Unmukt Chand at slips.

Ishan then prospered in the company of Kaushal Singh, who also chanced his arm to score the odd boundaries, as the sixth wicket pair took away the match from Delhi. Ishan changed gears after tea and was particularly severe on medium pacer Vikas Tokas. A short arm jab for six off Vikas was the stand out shot from the young batsmen.

>Scorecard

Earlier, Delhi skipper Unmukt Chand won the toss under overcast sky and inserted opposition in. Seamer Vikas Tokas gave the perfect start to Delhi by pricing out opener Virat Singh who as caught behind off the second over of the day. However, Praytush Singh counter-attacked and rode his luck as the ball moved around. Jharkhand skipper Saurabh Tiwary looked ill at ease during his stay at the wicket and top-edged a pull to be caught behind off Bhati. A lifter from Bhati took Pratyush by surprise and batsmen could only fend the ball towards gully where Shorey took a low catch. But Ishan Kishan walked in and changed the match on its head with his brilliant knock.

"The ball was moving when I came in to bat. Jaggi asked me to be patient and I started playing my shots when the wicket eased a bit. There was no help for the Delhi spinners and I took my chances and went for the big shots. I am happy with my knock which I can say is the best so far in my career. But there is still a lot of work to be done. We lost wickets due to some bad shots and I must compensate for that by batting longer and piling a good total tomorrow," said Ishan.

Delhi coach Bhaskar Pillai was disappointed with the show of his bowlers and complimented Ishan for his superb knock. "We could have bowled better and contained them. We gave far too many easy runs. No doubt Ishan batted superbly. But I think Pratyush also played a crucial knock when things were in our favour," he said.