Vijay Hazare: Kishan's ton floors Assam

A masterly 139 (91 balls, 12x4, 9x6) by Ishan Kishan helped Jharkhand coast to an eight wicket win over Assam in a Vijay Hazare Group 'C' league match.

A file photo of Ishan Kishan during the India 'A' vs Australia 'A' match. Kishan, captaining Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scored a century to help his team beat Assam in Chennai on Monday.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Assam bowlers bore the brunt of both the Chennai heat and Jharkhand skipper Ishan Kishan’s ton as he treated them with disdain to help his team coast to an eight-wicket win in a Vijay Hazare Elite Group ‘C’ clash at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on Monday.

A cameo by Romario Sharma (42 off 32 balls) and Sibsankar Roy’s 46 (78 balls) ensured Assam finished at a respectable 221/9 in its 50 overs. Jharkhand then left no stone unturned to demolish the Assam bowling as it cantered to a win with relative ease with Ishan Kishan hogging the limelight with a masterly 139 (91 balls, 12x4, 9x6).

As the day progressed

Kishan’s partner, Anand Singh (58 off 63 balls) precisely showed what was on the cards as he hammered Arup Das for a boundary at point, off the very first ball of the Jharkhand innings. An exact replica of the same skilful cut shot went up on display just three balls later, carrying a message of what was to follow. Captain Kishan at the other end, joined in the party and fireworks soon followed as the pair feasted on Assam’s bowlers to race to a 200-run stand in 24.1 overs.

Although the duo departed in quick succession they had left Jharkhand in a comfortable position, with 22 runs to win from 25 overs.

It was however, Anand, who took the responsibility of the hard hits during the initial stages. However, a crafty six through the deep midwicket in the tenth over, by Kishan off Mukhtar saw Anand happily obliging to transfer the load off his shoulder to the skipper himself.

The Assam bowlers never saw things going their way as, Kishan, leading from the front single-handedly took them to the cleaners. His fine show with the willow as he toyed with the bowlers saw his century coming up in just 74 deliveries.

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The pressure on Assam became all the more evident when Arup Das dropped Kishan at 119. Gaining confidence from that falter, Kishan went on a rampage before finally departing for 139 off 91 balls with 12 fours and nine humongous sixes marked against his name.

Four balls later, Anand followed Kishan back to the pavilion as Jharkhand lost its second wicket for 204.

With 18 required for a win, Saurabh Tiwary and Virat Singh made sure there was no further damage as they finished things off.

Earlier, Jharkhand speedster Varun Aaron started the proceedings well by troubling right-handed opener Riyan Parag from the word go. However, it was Rahul Shukla who got the breakthrough when he dismissed Parag in the sixth over when the batsman nicked a delivery to the keeper, Kishan.

Assam lost its second and third wickets in quick succession to spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Utkarsh Singh. After the initial 12 overs were bowled by the pacers, the spinners bowled the next 18 in tandem.

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Wasiqur Rahman changed the tone of the game slightly when he walked in at 57/3. Both Sibsankar and he resorted to cautiousness initially, as they clung on to mostly singles and doubles even as the boundaries dried up.

They duo fell when they tried accelerating but it was left-hander Romario who helped Assam post a decent total.