Ranji Trophy: Bengal takes big lead, puts one foot in semifinal

At the close of fourth day's play, Bengal banked on Shreevats Goswami, Abhishek Raman and Shahbaz Ahmed’s half-centuries to score 361 for seven in its second innings.

Bengal's Abhishek Raman plays a shot on day four of the quarterfinal match against Odisha.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Bengal virtually elbowed Odisha out of the contention for a Ranji Trophy semifinal berth on Sunday.

At the close of fourth day’s play of the quarterfinal contest at the DRIEMS ground here, Bengal banked on Shreevats Goswami, Abhishek Raman and Shahbaz Ahmed’s half-centuries to score 361 for seven in its second innings and build a massive lead of 443 runs.

In the eventuality of Bengal getting all out or declaring its innings on the final day, Odisha will not have enough time in hand to chase down the target.

Bengal, beginning from 79 for two, consolidated its lead.

Odisha had a flicker of hope after Debabrata Pradhan trapped Manoj Tiwary in front and Govinda Poddar had Anustup Majumder caught in the first slip. Bengal was 115 for four.

Ranji Trophy: Saurashtra bats full day to deflate Andhra  

But, Abhishek and Goswami put up 102 runs for the fifth wicket in about 34 overs. Even as he picked up boundaries on both sides, Abhishek (67, 189b, 8x4) – trying overcome a lean patch – looked to spend time in the middle.

Goswami, who hit four fours off a Poddar over, cut and drove spectacularly to provide some spark in a dull day’s action on a flat pitch.

After the departure of Abhishek, who was caught behind off Poddar, Goswami (78, 134b, 11x4) added 54 runs with Shahbaz (52 batting, 93b, 3x4, 1x6). Goswami was lbw off Preet Chohan soon after tea.

Shahbaz, who got his second half-century of the match, and Arnab Nandi (45, 75b, 5x4, 1x6) showed patience. They gathered 78 runs to pile on the agony on Odisha, which dropped catches and could not capitalise on stumping and run out chances. 

Part-timers Poddar and Anurag Sarangi took five wickets between them as the host missed the services of a full-time spinner.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos