From a record 37 teams that started off the Ranji Trophy season in October last year, eight have reached the quarter-finals after a total of 153 matches in nine rounds.
While powerhouses like Delhi, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Bengal didn’t make it through to the next stage, the eight teams that will be in action starting 15 January, are Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
From the tournament so far, here’s a look at trivia from the just-concluded Ranji Trophy league season.
- Sikkim's Milind Kumar scored 1,331 runs which is the second-highest aggregate for runs scored in a Ranji Trophy season; VVS Laxman's aggregate of 1415 runs in 1999-2000 is still the record.
- Pankaj Singh, who turned up for Puducherry in the Ranji Trophy this season became the first pace bowler to take 400 wickets in the tournament's history.
- The Bihar left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman set a new record for the most wickets taken in a Ranji Trophy season; he broke Bishen Bedi's record (64 wickets in 8 matches in 1974/5), by taking 68 wickets in 8 matches this season.
- Ashutosh Aman became the first-ever bowler to take 9 five-wicket hauls in a Ranji Trophy season; he broke Bishan Bedi's record of 8 five-wicket hauls (1974/5).
- Shivam Dube became the first all-rounder from Mumbai to score more than 600 runs and take more than 20 wickets in a Ranji Trophy season; he finished his season with a tally of 632 runs & 23 wickets.
- For the first time since 2007-08, Mumbai did not reach the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy. They finished their season with just one outright win from 8 matches; the last time they had just one solitary outright win in a season was in 2000-01.
- Rajasthan posted 7 outright wins in 9 league matches this season – this was nearly twice the number of most outright wins they had registered in a season previously (4 wins each in 1960/61 and 196/66).
- In their match against Sikkim, Meghalaya declared their first innings at 826-7, which would be only the sixth time in the tournament's history that a team had made a total in excess of 800. In that particular innings, Meghalaya scored their runs at a rate of 4.81 runs per over.
- Meghalaya had a first innings lead of 607 runs in their match against Sikkim; it would be the fourth-highest first innings lead taken by a team in the Ranji Trophy's history! The biggest first innings lead recorded in the tournament's history is Holkar's 722 runs against Mysore in the semi-final in 1945/46.
- The Meghalaya wicket-keeper Puneet Bisht scored 343 in his team's match against Sikkim; his performance would be the highest score by a designated wicket-keeper in the Ranji Trophy.
- Puneet Bisht's aggregate of 892 runs for Meghalaya is the highest aggregate for runs scored by a wicket-keeper in a Ranji Trophy season.
- Meghalaya opener Raj Biswa and Puneet Bisht stitched together a 433-run stand in their match against Sikkim; that would be the fourth-highest 3rd wicket stand in the Ranji Trophy.
- Of the 153 matches played this season, 25 were decided by a margin of an innings and more, 6 matches were decided by a margin of more than 200 runs, and 11 matches were decided by margins of 10 wickets.
- 'Extras' were the top contributor in Arunachal Pradesh's second innings in their match against Puducherry; 'Extras' contributed 15 to the team total of 71, while the top-scoring batsman in the innings was Tana Davit, who made 14.
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