Ranji Trophy final: We are playing to win hearts, says Arun Lal

Bengal coach Lal is having sleepless nights anticipating the result of the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra.

Due to lack of time, the winner of the final is set to be determined on the basis of first-innings lead.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

Arun Lal didn't sleep well on Wednesday night. He probably won’t get any sleep tonight as Bengal is 72 runs short of securing a first-innings lead against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy final at the SCA stadium in Khandheri.

Due to lack of time, the winner of the final is set to be determined on the basis of first-innings lead. Bengal ended day four at 354/6. With four wickets in hand and Anustup Majumdar (58*) on crease, it is definitely a possibility. Saurashtra will try its best to break the Majumdar-Arnab Nandi (who is batting on 28) and then, run through the tail.

Day Four -- As it happened

Coach Lal is not thinking too far. “We are playing to win hearts, not to for results. We will play with guts and belief and that’s it,” he told reporters at stumps.

Majumdar and Nandi’s 91-run stand in 158 balls turned the tide for Bengal in the last session. They scored pretty quickly compared to the overall pace of the match so far. “I have told Anustup that he needs to be immortal. It was also a superb knock (81) by Sudip Chatterjee. I was counting on him to get a big hundred but it is not easy there. The whole place is totally roughed up. It is not easy to get anybody out here once a batsman is set.”

READ| Ranji Trophy: Limited DRS, the talk of the game 

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Wriddhiman Saha came into the Ranji final without match practice. He was part of India’s tour of New Zealand but Rishabh Pant was chosen over Saha, who had to warm the bench.

Though he survived close calls, thanks to the limited DRS, the half-century (64) will be remembered if Bengal ends up winning the title.

“He is an India player. There was pressure on him to do it for us. He hadn’t had match practice. He has been injured for a year and hasn’t played a single Ranji Trophy game. He desperately wanted to play some shots but curbed himself,” said Lal.

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