Ranji Trophy 2019-2020: Bengal completes Hyderabad rout in three days

Rookie spin all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed scalped a hat-trick as Bengal thrashed a sloppy Hyderabad by an innings and 303 runs in a Ranji Trophy fixture.

(From left): Akash Deep, Manoj Tiwary and Shahbaz Ahmed after beating Hyderabad in Kalyani on Tuesday.   -  CAB Media

There is no stopping this Hyderabad team, from crashing to humiliating defeats, that is.

The latest one came at the Bengal Academy Cricket Ground on Tuesday. And it came with a day to spare; that shouldn’t be a surprise, though the visitors had started the third day with five first-innings wickets still intact.

So if the match had to end on the penultimate day, the visitors had to lose as many as 15 wickets. They showed they were perfectly capable of that, gifting the host a much-needed victory, with a bonus point to boot.

The win — by an innings and 303 runs — has put Bengal back in the reckoning for a place in the quarterfinals. It has in fact moved to the second position with 19 points, just two behind the leader Andhra.

READ: As it happened

Hyderabad is now struggling to avoid relegation after losing five of its six matches. With six points, it is placed at the bottom of combined Groups of A and B, featuring 18 teams in all.

If it has to stay on among the elite teams, it has to bat better than it did here. Granted, Bengal bowled exceptionally well, especially its two seamers Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar, but it was too good a wicket for a side to be dismissed for 171 and 161.

Only Javeed Ali, who made 72 (108b, 12x4) in the first innings, and Ravi Teja who scored 53 (86b, 8x4, 1x6) in the second, showed some fight.

The day began disastrously, with Hyderabad losing a wicket off the fourth ball of the day. Captain Tanmay Agarwal was bowled by a ball that swung in from Mukesh.

The only break in the procession of the batsmen to the dressing came during the 10-minute interval between the two Hyderabad innings. The first one was ended in dramatic fashion with Shahbaz Ahmed taking a hat-trick.

The left-arm spinner isn’t a big turner of the ball, but his steady line and length was enough. Akash and Mukesh did the rest.

The scores

Bengal first innings: 635 for seven decl. beat Hyderabad 171 (Jaweed Ali 72; Shahbaz 4-26) and 161 (Ravi Teja 53; Akash 4-38)

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