Indore, Feb 20 (IANS) Swashbuckling batsman-wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan hammered 173 off just 94 balls, comprising 19 sixes and 11 boundaries, to propel Jharkhand to a humongous 324-run win — the third highest margin by runs in the world — over Madhya Pradesh in a Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Saturday. Jharkhand collected four points from the win registered at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Later on Saturday evening, Kishan was picked, as deputy to preferred wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, in a 19-member Indian T20 squad for five T20 Internationals against England beginning on March 12 in Ahmedabad.
Captain-cum-opener Kishan’s previous highest score in List A matches, classified as domestic limited over games, was 139. His whirlwind innings helped Jharkhand to an insurmountable 422 for nine wickets off the allotted 50 overs.
Then fast blower Varun Aaron, who went unsold at the recent Indian Premier League auction, captured six wickets for 37 in just 5.4 overs to bundle out Madhya Pradesh for 98 in 18.4 overs for an easy win that fetched them four points. Later, Kishan also took seven catches to roundup a superb all-round display.
Kishan reached his 50 off 42 balls, 100 off 74 balls, 150 off 86 balls — the second fastest by an Indian in List A matches, behind Dinesh Karthik’s 80-ball 150 for Tamil Nadu against in Hyderabad in 2011. In all, Karthik scored 154 not out off 83 balls.
Kishan’s last 71 runs came off a mere 20 balls, which helped him finish the knock at a strike rate of a mindboggling 184.04.
Only two wicketkeeper-captains have scored more runs in an innings than Kishan in List A matches. Morne van Wyk of Dolphins hammered 175 not out off 171balls against Knights in Momentum One Day Cup in October 2014, and Moin Khan of Pakistan International Airlines carted 174 off 152 balls against Lahore-W in March 2003.
Kishan’s seven catches equals the most taken in a List A match. The other three are: Mahesh Rawat (7 catches) for Railways against Madhya Pradesh in 2012; Parthiv Patel (6 catches and 1 stumping) for West Zone against Central Zone in 2014; and, Keenan Vaz (6 catches and 1 stumping) for Goa against Gujarat in 2018.
In terms of biggest wins by runs in List A matches, only English counties Somerset and Gloucestershire have posted bigger victories than Jharkhand. While Somerset mauled Devon by 346 runs in 1990, Gloucestershire thrashed Buckinghamshire by 324 runs in 2003.
In India, Jharkhand’s total was the second highest in limited overs cricket, behind 438 for four wickets that South Africa posted against India in Mumbai in 2015.
Kishan was in murderous form. After Jharkhand lost Utkarsh Singh (6) for 10 runs, left-handed Kishan was involved in two big partnerships that completely demoralised the six-man Madhya Pradesh bowling attack.
Kishan, along with 16-year-old Kumar Kushagra, raised 110 for the second wicket. In this partnership, Kushagra’s contribution was 26. Then, Kishan and Virat Singh (68 off 49 balls) put on 117 for the third wicket, and that took the team total to 240. Later, Sumit Kumar scored a 58-ball 52 and Anukul Roy made a rapidfire 39-ball 72 to help Jharkhand to 422 for nine in 50 overs.
Madhya Pradesh bowler Gaurav Yadav’s four-wicket was buried in the din.
Brief scores: Jharkhand422/9 wkts in 50 overs (Ishan Kishan 173, Anukul Roy 72; Gaurav Yadav 4-73) beat Madhya Pradesh 98 all out in 18.4 overs (Abhishek Bhandari 42; Venkatesh Iyer 23; Varun Aaron 6-37) by 324 runs