Jharkhand’s Kaushal Singh guided the ball to silly mid-off. He was desperate for ‘that’ single, but was sent back. It would have been suicidal. Maharashtra bowler Shrikant Mundhe sensed Kaushal’s desperation to get to his century and bowled a yorker next. Kaushal survived. Next up was a good length ball. Kaushal came up with an awkward defensive shot. The 19-year-old batsman was trying hard to hold his nerve in the Nervous 90s.He smashed the next ball hard. Fortunately for him, it went over the extra cover fielder and raced to the boundary. Off came the helmet, the bat pointed towards the dressing room where his idol Mahendra Singh Dhoni was sitting. It was followed by a punch in the air. It was the best gift he could have given himself three days before his 20th birthday: maiden century in first-class cricket.”This is my third season in Ranji Trophy cricket. I had told my coach (Rajiv Kumar) that I was going to my play my natural game. I love to play aggressive cricket. I told him agar conditions samajh nahi aaya, toh mujhe jo aata hai vo karunga. Even MSD told me ki jasisa acha lagta hain vaise khelo. Dhoni bhaiya mere idol hain. Sirf Dhoni hain, aur koi nahi,” an exhausted but excited Kaushal, who took 20 wickets last season with his off-spinners, told TOI after the match.Kaushal’s innings of 121 included 15 fours and three huge sixes. He was severe on the slow bowlers, particularly Swapnil Gugale, hitting him for three boundaries in one over, which included two identical reverse sweeps over third man.
He came in to bat when his team was struggling at 108-5 and shared two crucial partnerships -with Anand Singh (24) and Shahbaz Nadeem (25).
Earlier, Saurabh Tiwary scored a quick-fire 33 off 35 balls with the help of six boundaries.
Jharkhand ended the day at 293/7 with Kaushal and skipper Varun Aaron (24) at the crease.RANJI TROPHY RD 1, DAY 2
GROUP A: At Jaipur: Baroda 544/8 decl in 155 ovs (Aditya Waghmode 142, Deepak Hooda 118; Axar Patel 3/136) vs Gujarat 34/0 in 15 ovs; At Hyderabad: MP 465in 125.5 ovs (Harpreet Singh 216*, Ankit Sharma 61) vs UP 131/5 in 47 ovs (Eklavya Dwivedi 37*; Gaurav Yadav 3/29); At Lahli: TN 87 and 153/6 (Abhinav Mukund 56) vs Mumbai 176 in 67 ovs (Aditya Tare 48; K Vignesh 5/41); At Palam:Railways 331in 118 ovs (Shivkant Shukla 128, Ashish Yadav 81; Siddharth Kaul 5/68) vs Punjab 154/4 in 57 overs (Uday Kaul 59*, Gurkeerat Singh 66*)GROUP B: At Vadodara: Assam 193 in 76.3 ovs (Tajinder Singh 61*; Pradeep Sangwan 3/47 ) vs Delhi 241/3 in 71.2 overs (Unmukt Chand 55, Nitish Rana 72*, Rishabh Pant 84*); At Karnail Singh Stadium, Delhi: Maharashtra 210 in 71.1ovs vs Jharkhand 293/7 in 99 ovs (Kaushal Singh 121*, Virat Singh 46; Anupam Sanklecha 3/60); At Vizag: Odisha 150in 78.1ovs (Biplab Samantray 53; Shrikant Wagh 3/13, Akshay Wakhare 3/19) vs Vidarbha 182/2 in 67 ovs (Faiz Fazal 76*, Ganesh Satish 74*); At Vizianagaram: Saurashtra 430 in 97.3 ovs (Jaydev Shah 193) vs Rajasthan 12/0in 1.4 overs
GROUP C: At Bhubaneswar: HP 318/7 in 80 ovs vs Andhra Pradesh. No play on Day 2; At Ranchi: Tripura 118 and 10/0 in 3 ovs vs Chhattisgarh 255 in 103.4 ovs (Ashutosh Singh 140; Abhijit Dey 4/26); At Jamtha, Nagpur: Goa 164vs Hyderabad 188/4 in 63 overs (Akshath Reddy 105*, S Badrinath 41); At Mumbai: Services 197 in 73 ovs (Rajat Paliwal 3/14) vs Haryana 117/3 in 38 ovs (SG Rohilla 62*; VU Yadav 3/31); At Kalyani:Kerala 282/7 in 96.2 ovs (Sanju Samson 142*; Samiullah Beigh 4/76) vs Jammu & Kashmir