It will likely be a battle between groups of contrasting fortunes when a high-flying Bengal takes on a resolute Jharkhand within the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals on the Just Cricket Academy Ground right here from Monday.
While 2019-20 finalist Bengal emerged unscathed from Group B within the league stage with three outright wins, Jharkhand overcame a shock defeat towards Chhattisgarh earlier than beautiful heavyweights Delhi and Tamil Nadu in shut encounters to prime Group H.
Jharkhand proceeded to toy with Plate Group topper Nagaland within the pre-quarterfinal, amassing 880 within the first innings and ending the match with a 1008-run lead — the highest-ever in First-Class cricket.
The premier home red-ball event returns after a two-month frenzy of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Bengal’s Shahbaz Ahmed will look to copy the match-winning cameos he performed for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
His unbeaten 71 led Bengal’s chase of 350 towards Baroda — its highest-ever within the Ranji Trophy and he adopted it up with 91 runs and 4 wickets in a 72-run win towards Hyderabad.
Both Bengal and Jharkhand have struggled with the bat however their bowlers have greater than compensated for it. The tempo trio of Ishan Porel, Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar have picked a mixed 39 wickets at a mean of 20.74.
“We’ll go in with three pacers definitely, the choice we’ll have to make tomorrow is about a fourth pacer or a spinner,” Bengal coach Arun Lal stated forward of the match.
“There’s a lot of bounce, there’s some grass, the ball deviates off the seam,” he added.
Jharkhand has relied extra on spin, with Shahbaz Nadeem choosing 18 wickets in 4 matches, together with a match-winning ten-for towards Delhi.
Jharkhand captain Saurabh Tiwari performed a stellar function within the win over Tamil Nadu.
| Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR
Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran and his counterpart Saurabh Tiwary discovered type late within the league stage and can hope to construct on it. While Abhimanyu struck 114 in Bengal’s win over Chandigarh in its final league recreation, Tiwary took Jharkhand over the road with scores of 58 and 93 towards Tamil Nadu.
After opting out of the league stage, Wriddhiman Saha has made himself unavailable for the knockouts and Abishek Porel is prone to proceed being the first-choice keeper. National obligation retains Mohammed Shami out of Bengal’s squad.
Forecast of rain looms over Bengaluru within the coming week and within the occasion of a washout, Bengal will advance to the semifinals owing to superior Run Quotient.