Ranji Trophy: Nadeem five-for limits Haryana

Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem took five wickets to help his team restrict Haryana to 251 for seven on Day One of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal in Vadodara.

Shahbaz Nadeem took five for 75 in 30 overs.   -  S. Dipak Ragav

Shahbaz Nadeem continued his fine-form for Jharkhand, picking up yet another five-wicket haul to rattle the Haryana top-order on Day One of its quarterfinal clash here on Friday.

>Scorecard

The left-arm spinner took the first five wickets as Haryana squandered a good opportunity after winning a toss before recovering towards the end of the day to finish on 251 for seven. Nadeem now has 44 wickets in the tournament.

Tragedy struck for Jharkhand in the third over when pacer Ashish Kumar limped off the field after losing his footing and falling down in the process of completing the delivery. Kumar was taken to a local hospital where an MRI was done and has been diagnosed with a hip fracture dealing a severe blow to the team. Kumar will stay here as he is not in a position to travel and has been advised bed rest for the next four days.

Skipper Saurabh Tiwary then introduced spin as early as the ninth over and Nadeem struck immediately when he got one to turn sharply for the left-handed opener Shubham Rohilla that deflected off the inside edge onto the stumps. Nadeem relied on his usual trick of fighting the ball and maintaining a good line and made good use of the assistance on offer from the pitch.

New batsman Shivam Chauhan walked in confidently and played his shots even as opener Nitin Saini struggled against Nadeem’s accuracy. Chauhan got three consecutive boundaries off pacer Rahul Shukla as he kept the scoreboard moving. Nadeem then struck again when Saini cut a delivery that was too close and edged it to slip where Ishank Jaggi held on to it on the second attempt.

Soon Chauhan too perished in a similar fashion when going for a cut shot; he found the fielder at backward point.

Chaitanya Bishnoi and Rajat Paliwal then steadied ship and ensured no further wickets fell as Jharkhand went to lunch at 102 for three. Nadeem bowled 14 overs on the bounce before lunch and returned with figures of three for 33.

Post lunch, the duo of Bishnoi and Paliwal slowly built a partnership, cutting out risky shots - as Nadeem was given a breather - and helped Haryana go past 150.

Tail wags

Tiwary then turned to his main bowler and the 27-year old delivered twice in as many overs as he bowled Paliwal who completely missed the line of the ball and had Bishnoi caught at short-leg.

Towards the end two partnerships, a 36-run stand between Amit Mishra and Rohit Sharma for the sixth wicket, and an unbeaten 56-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Pahal and Harshal Patel helped Haryana limit the damage.

Nadeem could have ended up with one more wicket had he held on to a return catch off Harshal Patel when the batsman was on 16.