Bumrah’s heroics take Gujarat to second Ranji final in 66 years

Nagpur, Jan 4 (IANS) Jharkhand’s dreams of reaching their maiden Ranji Trophy final were on Wednesday dashed by India seamer Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating spell, who guided his Gujarat side to their second final in 66 years, beating the first-timers by 123 runs here.

Gujarat’s only other final came in 1950-51, when they lost to Holkar, in the tournament’s 83-year history.

Bumrah, who was recently named by Cricket Australia (CA) in their One-Day International (ODI) Team of the Year, returned with figures of 6/29 to bundle Jharkhand out for a paltry 111 in their second innings at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground here.

Bumrah was well assisted by India discard Rudra Pratap Singh, who took 3/25 while Hardik Patel picked 1/46 to clinically finish the match within four days.

Chasing a modest 234, Jharkhand were off to a disastrous start, losing their openers Pratyush Singh (0) and Sumit Kumar (0) with just six runs on the board.

Thereafter, Jharkhand kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, only young Kaushal Singh (24) offering some resistance. But that was not enough as Bumrah and Co. kept on exerting the pressure on the side.

Earlier, resuming the day at 110/4, Gujarat rode on Manpreet Juneja (81) and Chirag Gandhi’s (51) defiant efforts to post 252.

Juneja’s 125-ball knock comprised of 12 hits to the fence while lower order batsman Gandhi consumed 105 deliveries and hit four boundaries and one over it.

For Jharkhand, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem once again turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 5/69 while medium pacer Vikash Singh took 2/44.

Bumrah was adjudged the Player of the Match for his efforts.

In the final, Gujarat will lock horns with the winner of the other semi-final between defending champions Mumbai and Tamil Nadu, which is currently being played in Rajkot.

Brief Scores: Gujarat 390 and 252 (Manpreet Juneja 81, Chirag Gandhi 51, Shahbaz Nadeem 5/69) beat Jharkhand 408 and 111 (Kaushal Singh 24, Ishan Singh 19, Jasprit Bumrah 6/29, Rudra Pratap Singh 3/25)