Bengal vs Jharkhand: Preview and Prediction

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Jharkhand play Bengal in the first quarter-final of the 2022 Ranji Trophy

As Ranji Trophy enters the quarter-final stages, the games are set to become tougher and more competitive. Bengal against Jharkhand’s first Quarter-final match will be the start of a thrilling knock-out phase of the Ranji Trophy 2022.

With fans being glued to the quarter-final matches, both these teams will be riding high on confidence because of the great season they have enjoyed till now. Bengal has finished as the table topper in the Elite B group with 18 points to their tally. The first phase of the tournament has been a dream run for the team, and it will be interesting to see whether they can carry forward the same charisma into the Ranji Trophy 1st Quarter-final match in 2022.

Bengal has an all-win record this year in Ranji Trophy, which speaks for the tremendous performance they have consistently delivered. Abhimanyu Easwaran, the team captain, has been leading from the front and will be a key batter in the Quarter-final match against Jharkhand. Also, A Majumdar and Sayan Mondal will be key batsmen who will play for Bengal in this match. Nilkantha Das and Mukesh Kumar will be the key players in the bowling department as they have showcased great consistency with line and length throughout the tournament’s first phase.

On the other hand, Jharkhand has had a season worth remembering for a long time. They set some incredible records such as the team with the highest lead in a match. This is why the contest between Bengal and Jharkhand will be highly competitive.

Kumar Kushagra, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Virat Singh will be the players leading the batting unit for Jharkhand as they clash with Bengal in the 1st quarter-final of the Ranji Trophy 2022. Jharkhand has been dominant in terms of batting in this year’s tournament, and big scores are expected of them! In the bowling department, Sushant Mishra and Shahbaz Nadeem will be the key players as they have the ability to take quick wickets and create pressure on the batters.

What have they done so far?

Bengal players enjoy after winning over Baroda

Bengal players enjoy after winning over Baroda 

Bengal were table-toppers in Elite B Group having won each of their three games in the competition this term. In the first match of the season, they defeated Baroda by a margin of four wickets. In the next game, they defeated Hyderabad by a margin of 72 runs. In the final game of the group stage, they defeated Chandigarh by a whopping margin of 152 runs to book their place in the quarter-final stage.

Jharkhand, meanwhile, has progressed to the quarters from what was termed the Group of Death. Other than the team from East of India, the elite Group H also had heavyweights such as Tamil Nadu and Delhi along with underdogs Chhattisgarh. And Jharkhand started their journey on a low, going down to Chhattisgarh by eight wickets. 

However, they came back strongly and won each of their next two group games against Delhi and Tamil Nadu by a narrow margin of 15 runs and 2 wickets to top the group with 12 points and progress to the pre-quarters where they drew the game against Nagaland but qualified for the last-eight by virtue of leading the first innings.

Head to Head Records

Given that this will be the first instance where Bengal and Jharkhand will cross paths, head-to-head records are not applicable for this fixture as both teams will be eager to kickstart their new rivalry with a victory.

Key Players

Ishan Porel (Bengal): Bengal’s right-arm medium seamer Ishan Porel was in fine form in the group stage. He amassed 14 wickets at an average of 19.07 as his efforts helped the team register three wins in the three group stage games. 

The 23-year-old recorded a brilliant spell of 3/37 in Bengal’s first-round win over Baroda. However, his best performance of the season came in the final match against Chandigarh wherein he scalped four wickets for 40 runs in the first innings and followed that up with a three-wicket haul in the second innings at the expense of 70 runs.

Kumar Kushagra scored 266 in the pre-quarters game against Nagaland

Kumar Kushagra scored 266 in the pre-quarters game against Nagaland

Kumar Kushagra (Jharkhand): Jharkhand’s 17-year-old wicket-keeper batter Kumar Kushagra has had a breakthrough season this term. He scored a superb half-century to help hand his team a narrow two run-win over Tamil Nadu. Kumar was part of the 2020 Under-19 India squad to South Africa, then showed his skills in the pre-quarter-final against Nagaland.

He scored 266 from just 269 balls, hitting 37 fours and two sixes as his team posted a mammoth 880 in the first innings of the match — the fourth-highest team total in the Ranji Trophy. Nagaland, in reply, were all out for 289 and the 591-run first-innings lead effectively ended the game in Jharkhand’s favour. Jharkhand drew the game but qualified for the quarter-final after taking a 1,000-plus run lead after scoring 417 for 6 — Kumar scored 89 on the final day of the match.

Predicted Playing XI

Bengal: Abhimanyu Easwaran (C), Manoj Tiwary, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, Anustup Majumdar, Sudip Kumar Gharami, Shahbaz, Abishek Porel (WK), Nilkantha Das, Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar, Sayan Shekhar Mandal

Jharkhand: Md Nazim, Kumar Suraj, Saurabh Tiwary (C), Utkarsh Singh, Kumar Kushagra (WK), Virat Singh, Anukul Roy, Ashish Kumar, Sushant Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Shukla

Prediction

Bengal and Jharkhand look well-matched on paper, and this should wind up being an exciting contest which could go either way. 

The Abhimanyu Easwaran-led side has a good recent record in the competition, winning each of their last three games and coming into this encounter with key players such as the skipper Easwaran and bowler Ishan Porel in good form. However, Jharkhand boasts a side full of experienced international superstars who know what it takes to win when it matters most. 

With that in mind, seriously consider going against the grain here and back Jharkhand to win the game and progress to the semis.

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