Batting records galore in run glut
Stats highlights from the quarter-final stage of the Ranji Trophy
- Cheteshwar Pujara's 352 against Karnataka is the highest individual score of the 2012-13 Ranji season. It is also his second 200-plus score of this season after the 203 against Madhya Pradesh in Rajkot in December. Pujara's 352 is also the sixth-highest score in the history of the Ranji Trophy and the highest ever by a Saurashtra batsman surpassing Ravindra Jadeja's 331. Interestingly, Saurashtra batsmen have made four of the top six scores this season. Taruwar Kohli also entered the list of triple-century scorers with an unbeaten 300 against Jharkhand in the quarter-final game in Jamshedpur. It is the fifth score of 300 or more this season and the first by a Punjab player which makes it the highest score by a Punjab batsman in the history of the Ranji Trophy.
- Pujara's strike rate of 82.43 is the third-highest for a 200-plus score in this season of the Ranji Trophy. He also scored at a strike rate of 91.85 during his innings of 203* earlier in the season. In the quarter-finals, only Rajat Paliwal had a higher strike rate (84.21) than that of Pujara (100-plus knocks only). Pujara has played in only three Ranji matches so far this season but has scored 629 runs. His average of 125.80 is the highest among batsmen who have scored 500-plus runs in the season so far. Paliwal, who scored his fourth century of the season in the quarter-final win against Uttar Pradesh, is now joint-second on the list of batsmen with the most hundreds in the 2012-13 season.
- Wasim Jaffer, who scored his second century of this season in the quarter-final, is now joint-first with Ajay Sharma on the list of players with the most centuries in Ranji Trophy history. Amol Muzumdar is second, with 28 centuries. Sachin Tendulkar scored his 18th century in the Ranji Trophy. He now has 80 first-class centuries, only one behind the Indian record of 81 held by Sunil Gavaskar.
- Three of the four quarter-finals ended with teams winning on first-innings lead. In the only one with an outright result, Services beat Uttar Pradesh by five wickets. In each of the three matches that were drawn, there was one 600-plus score. While Punjab and Mumbai made 699 and 645 respectively in their first innings, Saurashtra, led by Pujara's triple-hundred scored 718 in their second innings against Karnataka. In contrast, the four innings scores in the Services-Uttar Pradesh game were 134, 263, 241 and 116/5. So far in this season, 68 matches out of 112 (60.7%) have been drawn.
- Saurashtra's 718 is their highest ever total in the Ranji Trophy surpassing their previous best of 716 against Gujarat earlier this season. It is also the second-highest this season behind Maharashtra's 764 against Uttar Pradesh. Punjab's total of 699 for 3 is their second-highest total behind the 780 against Delhi in 1994-95. Of the ten 600-plus scores in this season, three came in the quarter-final stage. Mumbai and Saurashtra are the only teams to score over 600 on two separate occasions.
- The overall runs per wicket in the quarter-final stage was 45.88. But excluding the Services-Uttar Pradesh game, where the runs per wicket was 21.54, the other three matches were extremely high scoring with 58.05 runs per wicket. In contrast to the high-scoring quarter-finals, the runs per wicket in the previous rounds (108 matches) was 32.78. In the four quarter-final matches, 14 centuries were scored taking the total number of centuries in the season to 203.
- In the four quarter-final games, pace bowlers picked up 57 wickets at an average of 32.38 with four five-wicket hauls. Till the start of the quarter-final stage, pace bowlers averaged slightly better (29.59) and had picked up 84 five-fors in 108 matches. Spinners, on the other hand, struggled in this round, picking up 43 wickets at a high average of 61.27. Before the quarter-final, they picked up 29 five-fors and averaged 38.74. Sunny Gupta holds the record for bowling the most overs (66) in an innings (in this season so far) without picking up a single wicket.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo
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