Ranji Trophy: Kushagra, Nadeem take Jharkhand to record 880 against Nagaland

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Kumar Kushagra scored 266 off just 270 deliveries and Shahbaz Nadeem struck 177, helping Jharkhand continue to torment Nagaland’s bowlers in the pre-quarterfinal of the Ranji Trophy at the Eden Gardens on Monday.

After two days of determined batting, Jharkhand continued to pile the misery on a hapless Nagaland attack, finally folding for a massive 880 on the third day in Kolkata. Shahbaz Nadeem, who was on 123 overnight, finished on 177, while No. 11 Rahul Shukla remained unbeaten on 85, as the final-wicket stand yielded 191.

In reply, Nagaland were tottering at 130 for 4 with Chetan Bist batting on 46 with Abu Nechim on 13.

Jharkhand began Day 2 on 402 for 5 and resumed their process as Kushagra found his next able ally in Anukul Roy. Earlier, he had already added 175 runs for the fifth wicket with Virat Singh.

The Kushagra-Anukul pair added another stand in excess of 100, with Anukul getting a brisk half-century. After Anukul, it was Shahbaz Nadeem who piled the misery on a hapless Nagaland attack, making 177 runs. He and Kushagra added 166 for the seventh wicket, taking the team total past 650.

It was a brief relief for Nagaland as Kushagra fell after a scintillating knock that involved 37 fours and 2 sixes. But at the other end Nadeem, who has one previous first-class hundred to his name added another to it in the company of the team’s No. 11 Rahul Shukla.

By stumps, Nadeem reached 177 — his best first-class score — and Shukla had 85 to his name while Jharkhand amassed 880, their highest-ever total since featuring in the Ranji Trophy since 2005.

Brief scores: Jharkhand 880 (Kushagra 266, Nadeem 177, Shukla 85 not out; Lemtur 4-179) Nagaland 130 for 4 (Bist 46 not out, Mundhe 39, Nadeem 1-17) lead by 750 runs

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