MP and UP punch above their weight while Bengal and Mumbai remain flawless

Suved Parkar’s double century helped Mumbai brush aside Uttarakhand

The return of Indian domestic cricket was nothing short of spectacular, as the four quarter-final matches of the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy produced top-quality cricket action. New stars emerged in the likes of Sudip Kumar Gharami and Suved Parkar, while we also saw a few giant killings.

Karnakata were handed a surprising defeat by Uttar Pradesh, while Punjab could barely put up a fight against Madhya Pradesh. Among the expected results, Mumbai absolutely decimated Uttarakhand, whilst Bengal got the better of Jharkhand.

Let us check out the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy quarter-finals roundup:

Quarter-Final 1 – Bengal vs Jharkhand

Sudip Kumar Gharami starred in Bengal’s win over Jharkhand

Sudip Kumar Gharami starred in Bengal’s win over Jharkhand

Bengal might have won only two editions of the Ranji Trophy previously, but they have played as many as 14 finals. They have good chances of securing their 15th final appearance, given the dominance that they exhibited in the quarter-final tie against Jharkhand.

Batting first, they scored 773/7 in the first innings before declaring. Sudip Kumar Gharami and Anustup Majumdar struck centuries, while all of their top nine scored 50+ runs to create a world record. In response, Jharkhand could only score 298 runs, with no one except Nazim Siddiqui and Virat Singh turning up.

Bengal had the option of inflicting a follow-on, with the match already sealed by virtue of their first-innings lead, they opted to get some batting practice ahead of the semi-final. Abhimanyu Easwaran’s team scored 318/7, with Manoj Tiwary scoring a century.

Quarter-Final 2 – Mumbai vs Uttarakhand

The 41-time champions, Mumbai have not put a foot wrong in their pursuit of the 42nd title so far this season. While many expected Uttarakhand to at least show resilience, it was not to be as Prithvi Shaw’s team secured a massive 725-run win.

Mumbai batted first and declared at 647/8, with Suved Parkar scoring a double century in his debut Ranji Trophy outing. In response, Uttarakhand could only score 114 runs, with Shams Mulani picking a fifer for Mumbai.

Shaw asked his team to bat again instead of inflicting the follow-on, and in the second innings, Mumbai declared at 261/3. Uttarakhand’s batting display in the second innings was worse than their first innings performance, as they could only score 69 runs. Mulani, Tanush Kotian and veteran pacer Dhawal Kulkarni picked up three wickets apiece.

Quarter-Final 3 – Karnataka vs Uttar Pradesh

Unlike the previous two matches, this result was not along the expected lines as not many would have expected Uttar Pradesh to get the better of eight-time champions, Karnataka. Manish Pandey’s team batted first and scored only 253 runs, with Saurabh Kumar picking up four wickets for Uttar Pradesh.

In response, Karan Sharma’s team did not look convincing at all, getting bowled out for 155 with Ronit More picking up three wickets. However, Saurabh turned up the heat once again as Karnataka was all out for only 114 in the second innings, and Uttar Pradesh then chased the total by losing only 5 wickets. Skipper Sharma himself played a match-winning knock of unbeaten 93 runs.

Quarter-Final 4 – Punjab vs Madhya Pradesh

Shubham Sharma struck a century in Madhya Pradesh’s win over Punjab

Shubham Sharma struck a century in Madhya Pradesh’s win over Punjab

Though Madhya Pradesh has produced some talented cricketers in recent times, this result was also unexpected as star-studded Punjab was the favourite to emerge victoriously. Batting first, Abhishek Sharma’s team could only score 219 runs, with Puneet Datey and Anubhav Agarwal picking up three wickets each.

Madhya Pradesh scored 397 runs in response, courtesy of a century from Shubham Sharma and equally impressive knocks from Himanshu Mantri and Rajat Patidar. Punjab failed to turn up in the second innings as well, getting bundled out for 203 runs.

Kumar Kartikeya, who recently rose to fame with a stint with Indian Premier League outfit Mumbai Indians, picked up six wickets. Madhya Pradesh then chased the low total quite comfortably, without losing any wickets.