Punjab and Bengal teams struggles as they heads for Ranji Trophy

By Manishdeep Roy

Photo : Arpan Baidya

Bengal vs Punjab promised to be a cracker of a match for the audience with both the teams needs outright victory to progress. Addition of Yuvraj Singh augured well for Punjab in this must win encounter at Kolkata recently, while hosts did the first thing right when Manoj Tiwary won the toss and had opted to bat first in this relatively flat surface.

Though coming to bat, Bengal lost both its openers cheaply putting serious jeopardy for the incoming batsmens of middle order….apart from a gritty knock from Sudip Chatterjee and a quick fire from Shreevats nobody performed well, which subsequently led Bengal to bundled out for a paltry first innings with a meagre score of 187. Vinay Chaudhary stood out for Punjab picking up 6 wickets.

Punjab too started badly loosing two of its wickets quickly but Shubhman Gill somehow steadied the ship,this next big thing of Indian Cricket had piled up 91 runs before getting out in the nervous ninties…Anmolpreet Singh stole the show with 144 runs alongwith an unexpected Manpreet Gony pinch hitting cameo of 69. Punjab  finished their innings for 447 runs with a massive 260 run lead.

Bengal’s Mukesh Kumar and Pradipta Pramanik bowled well picking up 5 and 4 wickets subsequently. Now with their back against the wall Bengal needed to ensure that they score big. Abhimanyu scored a well deserved 200 with another century from the Bengal captain Manoj Tiway. Bengal finally decided to declare their second innings at 432 for 6 giving a target of 173 in about 15 overs to Punjab.

With a daunting task in hands for both the sides Bengal took an early stride with the wicket of Shubhman Gill, Anmolpreet Singh had Bengal taken those early catches then who knows match would have become even more poised but the fielders were lethargic in their approach towards the fag end.Yuvraj Singh hit two boundaries much to the crowd’s delight before getting run out for 11.

Manpreet Gony tried to achieve the impossible hitting lusty blows scoring 58 of 28 balls but wickets on regular intervals resulted the match to end in status quo as both the sides got knocked out of the tournament. Abhimanyu Easwaran of Bengal was adjudged ‘Man of the Match’.

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