The Deodhar Trophy is a 50-overs List A tournament which is organised and conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) every year. The recently concluded 2018 edition of the tournament was contested by Vijay Hazare Trophy champions Karnataka and two impressively assembled teams – India A and India B. Here, we list down five players who emerged as the top performers in Deodhar Trophy 2018.
The stakes in BCCI’s 50-overs domestic competitions are pretty high and they are often seen by the domestic and fringe players as a stage to excel and impress the national selectors. The story has not been any different this year and we have seen plenty of eye-catching performances in Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy 2018.
Five players who emerged as the top performers in Deodhar Trophy 2018:
1. Ravikumar Samarth (Karnataka) – 309 runs
While most of the pre-tournament chatter was based on Mayank Agarwal’s glorious run-making exploits in the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy this season, Karnataka’s No.3 Ravikumar Samarth as the leading light of Deodhar Trophy 2018.
Coming into the Deodhar Trophy on the back of a decent Vijay Hazare campaign, Samarth started the tournament with a bang as he blazed his way to a sublime hundred in Karnataka’s first outing against India B and helped his team to a match-winning score of 296 runs in 50 overs. The 25-year-old followed it up with yet another crucial contribution of 85 runs against India A and his second century of the four-match tournament in the big final, albeit in a losing cause.
In just 3 matches, Samarth scored 309 runs at an average of 103 and an impressive strike rate of 95.96, also notching up two hundreds and a fifty in the process.
2. Manoj Tiwary (India B) – 179 runs
Alongside skipper Shreyas Iyer, veteran Manoj Tiwary was expected to be the pillar of India B’s batting in Deodhar Trophy 2018 and he did not disappoint. Tiwary was also the only player other than Ravikumar Samarth to record a three-figure score in the tournament. With Hanuma Vihari going berserk in the tournament opener against India A, Tiwary had cool his heels in the dressing room and did not get a chance to bat in the game.
Come the second game against heavyweights Karnataka and Tiwary proved as to why he will go down as one of the greatest India first-class players. Chasing a mammoth 297 runs to win against a quality Karnataka attack, Tiwary walked in to bat with his team in all sorts of trouble at 29/3 and scored a memorable hundred in the match. While he was unable to finish the game off for India B, he made sure that he was there till the end in the all-important final and played a handy knock of 59 runs in just 51 deliveries to ensure India B’s title win.
Batting at No.5, Tiwary accumulated 179 runs in Deodhar Trophy 2018 at a strike-rate of 111.18 and finished the tournament as the second highest run-getter behind Ravikumar Samarth.
3. Shreyas Gopal (Karnataka) – 7 wickets
Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal emerged as the leading wicket-taker in Deodhar Trophy 2018 and impressed the critics and fans alike with his variations and googlies in the tournament. Right throughout the 2017/18 domestic season, Gopal has been used as a wicket-taking option by Karnataka skippers Vinay Kumar and Karun Nair and he has always answered the call.
In Karnataka’s first match against India B, Manoj Tiwary and Siddhesh Lad were in the middle of a long partnership when Gopal came in and spun his magic web. He picked up three crucial wickets in a short span of time and turned the game in his side’s favour. The 23-year-old leg-spinner continued his consistent run in the next two Deodhar Trophy matches, picking up two wickets each in his next two outings.
Coming to his Deodhar Trophy numbers, Shreyas Gopal picked up 7 wickets in 3 matches, at an average of 15.14 and a strike rate of 17.8 – an impressive return ahead of the upcoming IPL.
4. CM Gautam (Karnataka) – 153 runs, 3 catches and 2 stumpings
Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman CM Gautam continued his consistent first-class form in the Deodhar Trophy 2018 and played handy knocks down the order for Karnataka in the tournament. He ended the tournament as the fourth highest run-getter, only a solitary run behind Pavan Deshpande’s tally of 154 runs.
In Karnataka’s series opener against India B, Gautam managed 28 runs in the death overs and followed it up with a quickfire knock of 49 runs in just 26 deliveries in his next Deodhar Trophy outing against India A, including three massive sixes. His cameo was instrumental in Karnataka putting up a winning score of 339 runs in the match. Gautam saved his best for the final against India B, where he walked in with his team struggling at 64/4 and stitched together a 132-run stand with Ravikumar Samarth, contributing 76 runs in the process.
With a tally of 153 runs and 5 dismissals behind the stumps in 3 games, the 32-year-old CM Gautam was one of the top performers in Deodhar Trophy 2018.
5. Pavan Deshpande (Karnataka) – 154 runs
Pavan Deshpande is yet another Karnataka batsman who has enjoyed a stellar domestic campaign in the 2017/18 season. With heavyweights Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair failing to live up to the hype in Deodhar Trophy 2018, the 28-year-old No.4 batsman rose up to the occasion and formed a formidable partnership with Ravikumar Samarth and was the pillar of Karnataka’s batting in the tournament.
After a failure in the first game against India B, Deshpande came to the party against India A and played a stroke-filled knock of 95 runs, including 10 fours and 3 sixes – at a strike-rate of almost 110. His innings gained all the more weight considering the fact that India A’s bowling attack had impressive names like Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Basil Thampi and Kulwant Khejroliya.
Deshpande was on his way to yet another impressive knock before getting out for a score of 46 runs in the final against India B. Nevertheless, one of the top performers in Deodhar Trophy 2018.
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