Pace bowlers dominate fourth Ranji round
- Virag Awate became only the second Indian batsman to score a century in each innings on first-class debut. The last Indian batsman to do so was Nari Contractor in 1952-53, when he scored 152 and 102 playing for Gujarat against Baroda. Overall, six batsmen have achieved the feat in first-class matches. The only country in which two batsmen have scored twin centuries on first-class debut is India.
- In the fourth round of matches, there were 15 five-wicket hauls and three ten-wicket match hauls in 12 matches. Overall, in this season so far, there have been 43 five-fors and four ten-wicket match hauls. Pace bowlers have picked up 251 wickets in the fourth round at an average of 26.43 with 13 five-fors. Spinners, on the other hand, have managed just 63 wickets in the 12 matches at an average of 52.50 with two five-fors. Sandeep Sharma of Punjab produced the best innings bowling performance (7 for 25) in the fourth round against Saurashtra. Despite picking up only one wicket in the last game, Shahbaz Nadeem continues to be the highest wicket-taker in the season with 25 wickets at 20.96.
- There were 25 centuries scored in the fourth round of the Ranji Trophy. Overall, 100 centuries have now been scored in this season so far (48 matches). Delhi lead the tally with eight centuries while Baroda, Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai are in second position (seven centuries each). In the fourth round, Delhi batsmen were once again on top with four centuries followed by Hyderabad (3 centuries). Jiwanjot Singh of Punjab is the leading run-getter so far in the season with 508 runs in four matches. Parthiv Patel and Paras Dogra are second and third, with 491 and 482 runs respectively. Dogra, however, has the scored the most centuries so far (three). Rohit Sharma, one of the batsmen trying to seal a spot in the Indian team, scored 112 in Hyderabad.
- The average runs per wicket fell further in this round to 31.84. In the third round, the corresponding figure was 34.23. In contrast, the average runs per wicket in the first two rounds was 39.29. Among all venues, Delhi has had the highest average runs per wicket in this round (62.56) followed by Hyderabad (60.10). Overall, among venues to host at least three matches in the season, Delhi has the highest runs per wicket (46.64) while Rohtak has the lowest (19.89).
- Baroda won their match against Haryana by one wicket. It is the 14th instance of a team achieving a one-wicket win in the Ranji Trophy. The last instance came in the Tripura-Rajasthan game in 2009-10, when Tripura won by one wicket.
- Five of the 12 matches played in round four produced outright results. Four of those were won by the team batting second. Odisha, who beat Karnataka in Bangalore, were the only team to win batting first.
- There have been seven 200-plus scores in the season so far. All the scores came in the first three rounds. Akshath Reddy's 196, while playing for Hyderabad against Mumbai, is the highest score in the fourth round.
- The 386-run stand between Reddy and Hanuma Vihari is the highest ever for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy, surpassing the previous best of 344 between M Sridhar and Vivek Jaisimha in 1993-94. Hyderabad's 699 in this round, against Mumbai, is their fourth-highest total in Ranji history.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo
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