Ranji Trophy: Bengal thrashes Chandigarh to advance to knockouts

Ishan Porel claimed three important wickets, including the last one of Jagjit Singh Sandhu in the penultimate over.

Bengal pacer Ishan Porel celebrates a wicket during the Ranji Trophy match against Chandigarh in Cuttack.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Bengal bowlers rose to the occasion again on a slow fourth day pitch to snatch an exciting 152-run win over Chandigarh and record their team’s third successive outright victory in the Ranji Trophy Group-B at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.

Ishan Porel claimed three important wickets, including the last one of Jagjit Singh Sandhu in the penultimate over, as the Bengal bowlers sent down 89 overs on a hot and humid final day to restrict Chandigarh for 260 in its second innings.

Following the win, Bengal topped the group with 18 points and booked a berth in the quarterfinals.

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Patience was the key for both sides as Chandigarh resumed at 14 for two.

Overnight batter Gaurav Gambhir and skipper Manan Vohra batted correctly to prevent any damage for one hour and 50 minutes. They enjoyed a bit of luck in their resistance.

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The 43-run partnership broke when Gambhir poked a consistent Mukesh Kumar to first slip.

The Bengal bowlers’ united and relentless effort bore fruit as they captured three wickets post lunch. Nilkantha had Vohra (40) lbw, Sayan Mandal beached the defence of Ankit Kaushik (23) and Shahbaz Ahmed removed Jaskaran Sohi (0) to leave Chandigarh at 156 for six at tea.

Amrit Lubana’s determined effort (57, 111b, 6x4) ended as wicketkeeper Abishek Porel dived to his right to complete a low catch off Nilkantha.

When Ishan scalped Gurinder Singh, Chandigarh needed to play out nearly two hours to ensure a draw.

Jaskarandeep Singh (60 n.o, 89b, 10x4, 1x6) cut down his big shots and tail-ender Shreshth Nirmohi (29) gave good company. The two showed their resolve to gather 79 runs for the ninth wicket until part-timer Anustup Majumdar dismissed Nirmohi.

Jaskarandeep, who played some safe strokes, joined hands with Jagjit to frustrate Bengal for nearly six overs.

The Bengal bowlers continued to bend their backs. Ishan, bowling round the wicket, found the edge of Jagjit and Anustup deflected a low catch to the junior Porel’s gloves to finish the nerve-wracking contest.

“The team has shown character, spirit, skill and fitness. The boys worked hard to win. It keeps us confident,” said Bengal coach Arun Lal. 

The scores:

Bengal -- 1st innings: 437

Chandigarh -- 1st innings: 206

Bengal -- 2nd innings: 181 for 8 decl.

Chandigarh -- 2nd innings: Arslan Khan c Abishek b Mukesh 4, Harnoor Singh c Ritwik b Ishan 10, Gaurav Gambhir c Anustup b Mukesh 19, Manan Vohra lbw b Nilkantha 40, Amrit Lubana c Abishek b Nilkantha 57, Ankit Kaushik b Mandal 23, Jaskaran Sohi lbw b Shahbaz 0, Gurinder Singh c Abishek b Ishan 7, Jaskarandeep Singh (not out) 60, Shreshth Nirmohi c Ritwik b Anustup 29, Jagjit Singh Sandhu c Abishek b Ishan 0, Extras (b-2, lb-8, w-1) 11, Total (in 96.2 overs) 260

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-14, 3-57, 4-98, 5-143, 6-146, 7-160, 8-177, 9-256

Bengal bowling: Mukesh 23-6-72-2, Nilkantha 19-3-50-2, Ishan 15.2-5-37-3, Mandal 11-3-24-1, Shahbaz 26-8-61-1, Anustup 2-1-6-1.

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