Jottings on Ranji Trophy
Cricket involving a team from Kerala is always exciting for me. It was my cousin brother who induced me to play cricket on the terrace of my house in Trivandrum. It’s a different story that I was forced to be a terrace cricketer and chose to be an umpire & scorer to be associated with the sport and administration.
Today, Kerala team secured a huge win in Ranji Trophy. Reading updates from various sources, from my cricketing and non-cricketing circles, really made me smile throughout the day. I am forced to jot down some statistics of the Ranji matches.
28 teams grouped into four; playing 6 matches on a round-robin basis to qualify for quarter final. As of today, Karnataka and Delhi has assured their berth without worrying much about their next match from Group A. Group D table shows Vidarbha sitting safe, topper with 28 points across the table.
Final match in league is crucial for toppers in other three groups, which will make the championship looked with keen interest on its outcome – who’s who in quarterfinal is also a deciding factor. Out of the three, Kerala is in tight spot – as usual as it happens every year.
Lest to forget efforts by the team, consistently inconsistent in performance (quote courtesy to Harimony, my mentor from Cosmoss CC – TVM) result to last minute tension, year-on-year. November 25th to 28th is again nail biting days for me, with keen interest in game development.
While only two matches in Group A, other three groups have three matches running at same time and both are insignificant. Karnataka should look for a clear washout win to top the entire table with highest number of points.
Group B has thrilling matches. The toppers in table now will have to sweat it out to win the game and assure a berth in quarter final.
Andhra top group C table, with no match in place but will be keen to observe outcome of other matches to know their fate. MP will be playing against Orissa for a win for sure – it will help them to top the table with 21 points. Mumbai has to win their 501st match at any cost to save their mighty face, against bottom performer Tripura. TN vs Baroda match will also be interesting, with the winner has a possible chance to scrape through to quarter final.
Group D topper Vidarbha will eye for win to take lead further ahead, but Punjab – Services match can play a spoil sport to Bengal, who is on second spot with a match to play with Goa, the bottom liner.
NRR may not play much of a role this year, but one can never predict this unless the league match moves to 2nd day, ie 26th November.
Rain is another villain staring at all teams. An untimely visit is enough to spoil the entire calculation and bring NRR to play a role to decide who’s who in quarter final.
The author is a cricket statistician and sports writer