Ranji Trophy: Weather clouds start of Bengal-Gujarat match

Bengal's hopes of pushing for maximum points in its Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat might be threatened by the possibility of bad weather.

Ishan Porel lead Bengal's bowling attack admirably against Andhra with four wickets.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Bad weather clouded the prospect of a scheduled start as Bengal prepared to host Gujarat in an Elite Group A match of Ranji Trophy, at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Bengal lost the chance of gaining the maximum quota of points against Andhra in the previous outing at the same venue as bad-light and rain truncated the match to a virtually one-innings affair.

Rains returned on the eve of the match against Gujarat threatening the possibility of another curtailment.

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Elements denied Bengal a chance of continuing with the winning start it had against Kerala at the latter’s home. This time around Bengal will be looking to make the most of the situation and pick up some points to push into the top-five spot in the Elite cross-pool.

While Bengal is currently in the seventh spot, Gujarat is placed third with successive wins at home against Hyderabad and Kerala.

In the absence of pace spearhead Ashok Dinda, who remains suspended for disciplinary reasons, Bengal has been depending a lot on the young shoulders of Ishan Porel. The Bengal quick showed a lot of promise against Andhra picking up four wickets and remains the mainstay of the home team’s pace attack.

Akash Deep, who had the next best performance after Porel, is the other young pacer on whom Bengal will be pinning its hopes.

On the batting front, opener Abhishek Raman, who has scored a century in each of the team’s two outings so far, is expected to anchor Bengal’s run build-up against a robust Gujarat attack.

With Bengal relying on pace, Parthiv Patel-led Gujarat will be looking at spin and hope that the experienced pair of Piyush Chawla and Axar Patel deliver the goods.

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