Palam: On a very breezy day at Palam, Jharkhand started day two of the Ranji Trophy round-nine encounter against Services at 4 for 0 only to stumble to 120 all out in 58 overs, 65 runs behind the hosts' first-innings total of 185.
By virtue of the first-innings lead, Services will get three points - if they at least manage a draw here - thus ensuring their quarter-final berth in the tournament. The star of the day for Services was the medium-pacer Suraj Yadav who spelt doom with a fiery spell of 6 for 43. Sourabh Tiwary put up a dogged resistance scoring 29, the highest score in Jharkhand's first innings, while fighting cramps.
Earlier in the day, it was Nishan Singh who provided the first breakthrough by dismissing captain Shabaz Nadeem in the second over of the day after play was delayed for over an hour due to fog. The debutant Babul Kumar was scalped by Yadav for just one run in the 12th over after which opener Aakash Verma opened up by hitting a couple boundaries to ease the pressure. Verma departed after scoring 28 off the bowling off Yadav when the team score was 42. The visitors went into lunch at 49 for 3 with Tiwary (6*) and Ishank Jaggi (6*) in the middle.
Services bowled out Jharkhand for 120 and ended day two with a lead of 97 runs.
The post-lunch session saw Jharkhand’s two most popular batsmen take a defensive approach at the start as they both compiled a 32-run stand in 96 balls before Tiwary went off the field owing to cramps when the team score was 74. The new batsman, Rameez Nemat, looked tentative in the middle poking at outside-the-off deliveries without much success. Nemat was soon castled by Yadav for 4. Jaggi, who looked in good touch throughout his innings of 23 off 80 balls, got out edging a leg-side delivery from Yadav to wicketkeeper Sarabjit Lalotra. Jaggi looked upset with the decision.
Jaggi's wicket brought Tiwary back to the crease who was visibly struggling to run between the wickets as he went for big shots to get some quick runs for the team. Shiv Gautam (6) and Ajatshatru Singh (2) failed to support Tiwary, falling to Yadav in quick succession. Tiwary too got out in the next over trying to drive the ball over covers as Avishek Sinha took a sharp catch at short cover off Nishan. The last two batsmen could only add two runs as Nakul Verma's direct hit ran out Ajay Verma after Shadab Nazar had castled Shivshankar Rao.
With 34 overs remaining in the day, Services openers Soumik Chatterjee and Nakul Verma started off confidently scoring 24 runs in 9.4 overs. Soumik got out to Ajay Yadav for 15 runs edging an away swinger to keeper Gautam in the 10th over. Jharkhand captain Shabaz Nadeem then sent Nakul Verma packing for 10 runs with minutes left to play. The visitors applied pressure on the Services batsmen late in the day but Anshul Gupta (5*) and Nishan (0*) stayed in the middle till the close of play. Services were 32 for 2 in 13 overs when stumps were drawn with an overall lead of 97.