BENGALURU : Since MS Dhoni emerged on to the domestic scene, Jharkhand have had quite a few power hitters in their line-up. In the current squad, the likes of Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary, Anukul Roy and bowling all-rounder Monu Sharma have dismantled opponent bowling attacks and have strike rates over 80.
Kishan & Co have typified that attribute in their Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group C matches, hitting bowlers all over the park. On Monday, in their quarterfinal match against Maharashtra, the batsmen had to show the other side of their game as they were playing on a slow M Chinnaswamy track.
Going by the wicket’s slow nature, Jharkhand skipper Kishan opted to bowl first and his decision paid off. Maharashtra failed to read the pitch and lost wickets at regular intervals to be bundled out for 181 in 42.2 overs. Chances were high that Jharkhand would look to wrap things up as quickly as possible, especially with the likelihood of rain.
That did not materialise. Kishan, who had a strike rate of close to 120 in seven innings, showed maturity as he patiently withstood the Maharashtra pace attack, not hitting a boundary till the eighth over. With the pacers getting assist from the pitch, his fellow opener Anand Singh too followed suit as Jharkhand scored only 25 runs at the end of the 10th over.
After Anand was caught leg before by Samad Fallah, Shasheem Rathour too went about the job in a cautious manner and held back on playing cross-batted shots. In the end, a slow but steady Jharkhand beat Maharashtra by eight wickets on VJD method in a rain-interrupted game.
“We knew that the wicket was not helping spinners and Maharashtra had three in their team. Pacers were getting help from the pitch so we decided to wait it out. Our plan was not to lose a wicket in the beginning and wait for the spinners to be introduced after 10 overs,” Kishan said.“We didn’t go for the big shots and tried to play with a straight bat. When spinners were introduced, we tried to score off the bad deliveries. And, I think, we did that successfully. It was a complete team effort as we executed the plan perfectly.”
An unbeaten Jharkhand will now face Delhi in the second semifinal on Thursday.
Andhra 267/9 in 50 ovs (Vihari 95, Bhui 52; Siraj 3/50) lost to Hyderabad 281/8 in 50 ovs (Sandeep 96).
Maharashtra 181 in 42.2 ovs (Motwani 52, Tripathi 47; Roy 4/32, Shukla 3/35) lost to Jharkhand 127/2 in 32.2 ovs (Shasheem 53 n.o). (VJD method).