Ranji Trophy: Rain plays spoilsport

Rain can be a cruel interruption in a season opener. Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir players were mostly confined to their dressing rooms as only 7.2 overs of play was possible on the rain-affected second day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Cab Academy ground here on Friday.

Ground staff at work to dry up the ground at the CAB Academy following rain interruption on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match in Kalyani on Friday.   -  Y. B. Sarangi

Rain can be a cruel interruption in a season opener. Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir players were mostly confined to their dressing rooms as only 7.2 overs of play was possible on the rain-affected second day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Cab Academy ground here on Friday.

> Scorecard

Resuming at 263 for seven, Kerala could add only 19 runs to its overnight total without losing a wicket in the 36 minutes of play in the morning session before heavy rain suspended play. First day’s unbeaten centurion Sanju Samson collected 13 more to be on 142, while his partner Manu Krishnan, starting from six, was on 12.

It was quite frustrating for man-in-form Samson and his team, which was in a good position to gather some valuable points from the tie.

Samson, nevertheless, took positives from his fine start to the season. He reflected upon how he had changed from being a hard-hitting wonder in T20s to be a dependable batter in the longer form.

“If you want to be a better cricketer, you have to be ready for any situation. I prepare myself to face any situation...I love to play in all three formats. It challenges a batsman and you keep on improving,” said the soft-spoken Samson, carrying a mature head.

Samson said he loved the grind of multi-day cricket. “I just go out there and apply myself. I want to contribute as much as possible...It is important to have a rapport with your batting partner, be it anyone.”

Samson, who was mentored by Rahul Dravid during his days with Rajasthan Royals, said the recent stint under the former India captain with India ‘A’ side in Australia made him a better cricketer. “Each and every youngster who comes out from any India ‘A’ tour is a better player. We keep on learning each day in every practice session. We are bound to learn.

“It is a blessing for every youngster who is in India ‘A’ side mentored by Dravid Sir. We really enjoy his company...He has taught me how to be a better cricketer. “

From Dravid, Samson has learnt the need to be useful batsman in every form. “You have to learn the situation, read the bowlers’ mind. You just cannot go out there and smash every ball. You have to stay out there and sometimes you may have to look ugly because the bowler is also prepared and he is there to take wickets. He too has worked the whole year. We should respect the bowlers.”

Meanwhile, after three hours of rain, the ground staff gave their best to make the field ready for the match. However, the two super soppers were not up to the mark – one had a leaking tank and the other’s cushions were tattered – to completely dry up the slushed outfield.

The umpires conducted several rounds of inspection before calling off the day’s play around 3.30. p.m.

HP-Andhra match washed out

The second day’s play of the Himachal Pradesh-Andhra Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) stadium in Bhubaneswar was washed out on Friday. Downpour the previous night and in the morning left the outfield wet.

At around 2 pm, the skies cleared and the sun showed up too. After the batsmen took to the crease and the bowler was set for his run-up, a short and sharp shower undid all the efforts of the ground-staff until then. The umpires carried out inspections through the day but decided to call off play after the afternoon rain.

Day 2 round-up:

Group A

At Jaipur: Baroda 544 for eight decl. in 155 overs (Aditya Waghmode 142, Deepak Hooda 118, Kedar Devdhar 65, Hardik Pandya 47, Swapnil Singh 66 n.o., Axar Patel three for 136) vs. Gujarat 34 for no loss in 15 overs.

At Lahli: Tamil Nadu 87 & 153 for six in 54 overs (Abhinav Mukund 56, Washington Sundar 40, Vijay D. Gohil three for 36) vs. Mumbai 176 in 67 overs (Aditya Tare 48, Kaustubh Pawar 35, K. Vignesh five for 41, Aswin Crist three for 51).

At New Delhi (Palam): Railways 331 in 118 overs (Shivakant Shukla 128, Ashish Yadav 81, Mahesh Rawat 35, Siddharth Kaul five for 68) vs. Punjab 154 for four in 57 overs (Uday Kaul 59 batting, Gurkeerat Mann 66 batting).

At Hyderabad: Madhya Pradesh 465 in 125.5 overs (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 216 n.o., Ankit Sharma 61, Devendra Bundela 52, Rajat Patidar 42, Mukul Raghav 35, Imtiaz Ahmed three for 58) vs. Uttar Pradesh 131 for five in 47 overs (Eklavya Dwivedi 37 batting, Gourav Yadav three for 29).

Group B

At Vizianagaram: Saurashtra 430 in 97.3 overs (Jaydev Shah 193, Sheldon Jackson 76, Chirag Jani 33) vs. Rajasthan 12 for no loss in 1.4 overs.

At Visakhapatnam: Odisha 150 in 78.1 overs (Biplab Samantray 53, Sandeep Pattnaik 31, Shrikant Wagh three for 13, Akshay Wakhare three for 19) vs. Vidarbha 182 for two in 67 overs (Faiz Fazal 76 batting, Ganesh Satish 74).

At New Delhi (Karnail Singh stadium): Maharashtra 210 vs. Jharkhand 293 for seven in 99 overs (Kaushal Singh 121 batting, Virat Singh 46, Saurabh Tiwary 33, Shrikant Mundhe three for 100, Anupam Sanklecha three for 60).

At Vadodara: Assam 193 in 76.3 overs (Tarjinder Singh 61 n.o., Rahul Hazarika 37, Pradeep Sangwan three for 47) vs. Delhi 241 for three in 71.2 overs (Unmukt Chand 55, Nitish Rana 72 batting, Rishabh Pant 84 batting).

Group C

At Bhubaneshwar: Himachal 318 for seven vs. Andhra.

At Ranchi: Tripura 118 & 10 for no loss in three overs vs. Chhattisgarh 255 in 103.5 overs (Ashutosh Singh 140, Rishabh Tiwari 31, Abhijit Dey four for 26, Rana Datta three for 39).

At Nagpur: > Goa 164 vs. Hyderabad 188 for four in 63 overs (Akshath Reddy 105 batting, S. Badrinath 41).

At Mumbai: Services 197 in 73 overs (Aanshul Gupta 69, Rajat Paliwal three for 14) vs. Haryana for two in 30.5 overs (Shubham Rohilla 62 batting, Vikas Yadav three for 31).

At Kalyani: Kerala 282 for seven in 96.2 overs (Sanju Samson 142 batting, Jalaj Saxena 69, Samiullah Beigh four for 76) vs. Jammu & Kashmir.