The league stages of Ranji Trophy are over as the tournament enters its business end.
Punjab, Saurashtra and Mumbai have qualified for the quarterfinals from Group A and Uttar Pradesh, Baroda and Karnataka are through from Group B. Services and Jharkhand have made it from Group C.
Uttar Pradesh ended with the most points in the league stage (33), followed by Punjab with 32 points. These two teams were the table-toppers in their respective groups. Services took the top spot with 26 points in Group C.
While Punjab and Uttar Pradesh registered most outright wins (4), Jharkand won three. Seven teams — Mumbai, Gujarat and Railways (Group A), Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha (Group B), Andhra and Goa (Group C) — remained unbeaten in the league stage. All of Goa’s eight games were drawn affairs.
However, defending champions Rajasthan had a horrible season. They failed to win a single game this time and finished a dismal eighth in Group A and have been relegated.
The quarterfinal draw looks like this:
• Punjab v Jharkhand at Jamshedpur
• Saurashtra v Karnataka at Rajkot
• Mumbai v Baroda at Mumbai
• Uttar Pradesh v Services at Indore
Statistical nuggets from ninth round of Ranji Trophy:
• Continuing with the trend, only five matches out of 12 in the round nine produced a result. In all 108 matches of league stage, only 43 were decisive, while 65 were drawn.
• A total of 189 centuries have been scored in this season. This tally includes three triple centuries and 14 double centuries. This is a new record of centuries scored in a single season of Ranji Trophy.
• In comparison, the number of five-wicket innings hauls in this Ranji season have been 115. A total of 13 ten-wicket match hauls have been recorded by 11 bowlers so far. Jharkand’s Ajay Yadav and Bengal’s Shami Ahmed have performed this feat on two occasions each.
• Amol Muzumdar became the first batsman to aggregate 9000 Ranji runs during his innings of 146 for Andhra against Kerala. He now has 28 Ranji centuries, now behind only Ajay Sharma (31) and Wasim Jaffer (30).
• Karnataka’s CM Gautam became the first batsman to aggregate 900 runs in this Ranji season. By the end of the match against Maharashtra, Gautam had taken his season-tally to 938.
• Jharkhand’s openers Rameez Nemat and Akash Verma added 151 runs for the first wicket in the second innings of match against Services, which was 31 more than what the whole Jharkhand team managed in the first innings.
• Against Andhra, Kerala were left with an improbable target of 209 in 25 overs. They almost chased it down, but the umpires called off the game due to bad light with Kerala needing 17 off the last over.
• Against Karnataka, Maharashtra were dismissed for 99 in the first innings and had to follow-on. They replied with 561 in the second innings.
• Stuart Binny- captaining Karnataka – scored a century against Maharashtra. The Binnys (father Roger and son Stuart) thus provided a unique instance of a father-son duo scoring a century as captain in Ranji Trophy.
• Hrishikesh Kanitkar became the 29th player to play 100 Ranji Trophy matches when he appeared for Rajasthan against Hyderabad.
• Zaheer Khan led Mumbai against Gujarat – only the second time he captained in a first-class match in his career. The only other such instance was way back in 2004-05 when he captained West Zone against North Zone in Duleep Trophy.
• Left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja returned match figures of 9/102 on his Ranji debut for Saurashtra vs Madhya Pradesh.
All-rounders included in this table have at least 200 runs and 20 wickets.
+ Left-hand batsmen and left-arm bowler.