Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Bengal wins a thriller against Tamil Nadu

Pradipta Pramanik, Sudip Chatterjee dig in to help the visiting side bag a one-wicket win.

Bengal batsman Sudip Chatterjee plays a shot at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.   -  M. Vedhan

One wicket remaining and a single run to get. The tension at Chepauk was palpable.

And it was the sort of calm that arrives before the dramatic final act. Left-arm paceman T. Natarajan started his run-up. Pradipta Pramanik settled in his stance.

T. Natarajan fired in a reverse swinging yorker. Pramanik managed to dig it out on the leg-side. A scampered single was completed.

READ: As it happened

The Bengal camp let out a roar, sprinted to the field in joy, celebrating a successful chase of 216 on a difficult pitch on fourth afternoon of this Ranji duel here on Saturday.

Bengal now has 12 points from four games and Tamil five from four.

The host had shot itself on the foot in this game, getting dismissed for 141 in the second innings through some inept batting.

Bengal's Ishan Porel celebrates after scoring the winning run against Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Saturday.   -  M. Vedhan

 

Credit to Bengal for taking the opportunity. Tamil Nadu’s plans seemed to be working before the eighth-wicket pair of Sudip Chatterjee (40, 118b, 2x4) and Pramanik (25 not out, 97b, 1x6) put together 57 valuable runs in 156 balls.

The left-handed Sudip was calm and organised under pressure. And for someone coming in at No. 9, Pramanik was secure in defence and assured with his strokeplay.

READ: Padikkal, Nischal star as Karnataka grabs outright win

Tamil Nadu’s tactics during this critical association were baffling. Apart from the close catchers, the field was set deep, and the singles were conceded too easily releasing the stress. This was a surface where every run mattered.

And Rahil, Tamil Nadu’s trump card, should have come into the attack, straightaway, after lunch when Bengal required only 36.

Rahil, finishing with a 10-wicket match haul, had been influential in the first session from the pavilion end - there was a rough outside the left-hander’s off-stump for him to exploit from over the wicket - in a spell of 15-2-40-3.

When he returned, Bengal needed just 11. Rahil had Sudip, coming out to defend a ball that held its line, stumped but the wicket came too late.

The 25 extras conceded by Tamil Nadu hurt the side, so did the tough chances put down early off Aamir Gani who eventually made a valuable 25.

Natarajan, who bowled with verve in the morning to trap key batsman Manoj Tiwari leg-before with a ball that darted in from round the wicket, and the accurate Rahil struck telling blows before lunch.

Then Bengal found a way back.

The Scores

Tamil Nadu first innings 263

Bengal first innings 189

Tamil Nadu second innings 141

Bengal second innings: Abhishek Raman c Indrajith b Kaushik Gandhi 53, Koushik Ghosh c Indrajith b Rahil Shah 13, Manoj Tiwari lbw Natarajan 18, Aamir Gani lbw Natarajan 25, Sudip Chatterjee st Jagadeesan b Rahil 40, Anupstup Majumdar lbw Rahil 7, Writtick Chatterjee c Aparajith b Rahil 0, Shreevats Goswami c Indrajith b Rahil 9, Pradipta Pramanik (not out) 25, Ashoke Dinda (run out) 1, Ishan Porel (not out) 0.

Extras (b-12, lb-10, nb-3) 25.

Total (for nine wickets in 82.5 overs) 216.

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-80, 3-114, 4-121, 5-134, 6-134, 7-150, 8-207, 9-215.

Bowling: T. Natarajan 22.5-5-49-2, M. Mohammed 6-1-19-0, Kaushik Gandhi 11-2-33-1, Rahil Shah 25-4-68-5, Sai Kishore 13-3-22-0, B. Aparajith 5-3-3-0.

Points: Bengal 6, Tamil Nadu 0.

Man of the Match: Abhishek Raman.