Iqbal Abdulla on the ball in Ranji Trophy

The all-rounder has picked 16 wickets in the last three matches at an average of 16.75.

Photo: Iqbal Abdulla/Twitter

If it isn't with the bat, Iqbal Abdulla delivers with the ball. Having picked up successive four-wicket hauls in his last two Ranji Trophy matches, the all-rounder went one up and scalped a fifer in Sikkim's Plate Group match against Mizoram at the KIIT Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Electing to bowl first, Iqbal Abdulla grabbed five of the last eight wickets, including that of centurion Taruwar Kohli, to end up with figures of 5/78 in 23.1 overs as Mizoram were bowled out for 201. It was the 30-year-old's seventh five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

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Sikkim, however, failed to capitalise on those efforts as they were shot out for 139 in their first innings handing the opposition a 62-run lead. But Mizoram were unable to extend that too much as they could manage only 179 in the second innings, taking a lead of 241.

Pacer Ishwar Chaudhary, who took wickets in tandem with Iqbal Abdulla in the first essay, was the chief destroyer with a five-wicket haul of his own while Iqbal Abdulla scalped 3/54 in 14 overs, taking three of the final five to fall, to end up with a match haul of 8/132.

The target, nevertheless, proved too much for Sikkim as they folded for 163 to hand Mizoram a 78-run victory. Iqbal Abdulla top-scored for his side in the second innings with 37 (48b, 6x4s).

Iqbal Abdulla, an ARCS Andheri mainstay in the T20 Mumbai league, has been in a rich vein of form with both the bat and the ball this Ranji Trophy season. He has scored 464 runs so far at an average of 46.40, with a century, and taken 20 wickets at 29.35 in six matches. His last three matches have witnessed 16 of those wickets at 16.75 apiece.

Another all-round show

Sagar Trivedi, a pacer, impressed with the bat to rescue Puducherry in their first innings collapse in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group match against Arunachal Pradesh. The 28-year-old, a Shivaji Park Lions pick, top-scored with an unbeaten 79, laced with 7 fours and a six, in just 72 balls at a strike rate of 109.72 for his maiden fifty in first-class cricket.

Waking out to the crease at 80/7, he put on 101 for the eighth wicket with Vikneshwaran Marimuthu as Puducherry eventually folded for 209. Arunachal Pradesh was shot out for 192 in their first innings, Sikkim then piled on 351 in their second and then shot out the visitors for 72 to hand themselves a massive 296-run win. Sagar Trivedi, who bagged a four-fer in his previous Ranji Trophy match, registered a match-haul of 3/67 this time around.

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