Anustup Majumdar completed a hundred in each of Bengal’s innings to see the host through to the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy, as Bengal drew its concluding Group-D match against Goa at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Majumdar’s consistency with the bat was the major reason behind Bengal getting much-needed points - a first-innings lead helped it secure three points from the contest - for its qualification. Bengal now plays defending champion Gujarat in the quarterfinal at Jaipur from December 7.
Having saved Bengal from a crisis along with Shreevats Goswami with a 213-run partnership for the fifth wicket in the first innings, Majumdar remained central to the host’s revival yet again as he paired in a 214-run stand for the sixth wicket with Writtick Chatterjee in the second innings. Both Majumdar and Chatterjee remained unbeaten on 108 and 102 respectively before Bengal declared its second innings on 334 for five.
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Given an unrealistic target of 404 runs, Goa batted out the remaining 26 overs, scoring 86 for two in its second innings.
Reprieve for Majumdar
Resuming its innings in the morning on 108 for three, Bengal lost both its overnight batsmen Abhimanyu Easwaran and Shreevats Goswami cheaply - having added only 12 runs. At 120 for five and with the opponent beginning to fancy an outright win, Majumdar arrived in the scene to steady the Bengal boat. Luck played some part in helping Majumdar realise the big score, as a ‘no-ball’ call saved him from being dismissed - Majumdar would have been clean bowled by Lakshay Garg on his personal score of six.
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The Bengal batsman made full use of this reprieve and effectively quelled the Goa bowling attack, which could make no further dent on the Bengal batting. On his way to 108, Majumdar struck 11 boundaries and consumed 183 deliveries. It remained a better effort than his 119 in the first innings, which had also come under difficult circumstances. Chatterjee also matched Majumdar in application in scoring 102 (133b, 4x11), which was scored at a brisker pace than his ally.
Bengal tallied 23 points from its quota of six matches to take the second position behind Vidarbha (31 points).