Ranji Trophy: Kushagra double ton, Nadeem century help Jharkhand reach 769-9 vs Nagaland in pre-quarters

Jharkhand resumed the second day at 402 for five and went on to amass 769 for nine at stumps to record its highest ever total.

Kumar Kushagra celebrates after reaching his century.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Seventeen-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Kumar Kushagra converted his maiden three-figure score into a double hundred and Shahbaz Nadeem got his second century as Jharkhand piled a mountain of runs to have complete control over its Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal match against Nagaland at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

Jharkhand resumed the second day at 402 for five and went on to amass 769 for nine at stumps to record its highest ever total.

The Nagaland bowlers, who showed some discipline till the morning drinks break, became wayward as conditions became favourable for the batters.

AS IT HAPPENED | Ranji Trophy 2022 HIGHLIGHTS, pre-quarterfinal day 2: Jharkhand 769/9 at stumps; Kushagra hits 266, Nadeem slams ton

Kushagra, who began from 112, carried on sensibly with his overnight partner Anukul Roy to forge another century partnership worth 128 runs.

Anukul (59, 88b, 7x4), who started from 21, was caught behind off left-arm spinner Imliwati Lemtur after reaching his half-century.  

Kushagra (266, 269b, 37x4, 2x6) stood for a third century stand worth 166 runs with Nadeem (123 batting, 223b, 14x4, 1x6). The duo made merry as the Nagaland bowlers erred and fielders did a sloppy job.

Kushagra, who was dropped again on 132, continued to relish his timing and placement as he plundered runs all over the park. His fluent cover drives stood out among his array of strokes.

Just before lunch, the teenager, who had played the under-19 World Cup two years ago, achieved his double hundred by punching Lemtur on the back foot to the long-off ropes.

Kushagra looked all set to get a triple ton when he tried to hoist leg-spinner Khrievitso Kense and was held at point.

Jharkhand lost two more wickets quickly but Nadeem, who gathered most of the runs on the leg-side, batted grittily with No.11 Rahul Shukla (29 batting, 4x4, 1x6) to achieve his hundred and help his side rewrite the record books. They put up an unbeaten 10 wicket stand of 80 runs.

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From the hapless Nagaland bowlers, who bowled a marathon 177 overs amid intense heat, Lemtur and Kense captured three wickets apiece.

The scores:

Jharkhand: 769/9 in 177 overs (Kumar Kushagra 266, Shahbaz Nadeem 123 batting, Virat Singh 107, Kumar Suraj 66, Utkarsh Singh 36, Kense 3/138, Lemtur 3/161) vs Nagaland.

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