Seeing Anushtup Majumder and Manoj Tiwari’s tooth-and-nail fight on Saturday, many thought that Bengal’s hopes might not be over yet. Manoj was unbeaten at the end of the third day even though Anushtup was out. The hope of Bengal and the cricket lovers of Bengal was alive. But Manoj and his team could not help the hope to last longer. The innings defeat might have been saved. Thanks to Ishan Porel’s agressive batting. But Bengal lost in Ranji final by 9 wickets. Bengal’s innings ended on 241 runs on Sunday morning. Saurashtra picked up the required 12 runs by losing one wicket.
Bengal’s innings ended in one and a half hours on Sunday. With this, Saurashtra faced Bengal twice in the final and the later lost both times. For the first time, it was in Saurashtra’s home field. And this time in Bengal’s home ground. Bengal was trailing by 25 runs when Ishan came to bat at the 10th wicket. Everyone was calculating the number of balls Bengali might survive. But Ishan batted aggressively to save Bengal from the shame of at least an innings loss.
Manoj-Anushtup: the last standing hope for Bengal
The struggle on Sunday was to handle the Saurashtra bowlers in the first hour. But the starting was not that bad for Bengal. Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakaria opened Saurashtra’s bowling attack. Sakaria appealed for an out against Shahbaz in the first over. They took the DRS, however got n benefit from it. Shahbaz hit Unadkat for two boundaries in the second over of the day. After that Manoj also tried to be aggressive.
It seemed that Bengal wanted to create pressure on the bowlers of Saurashtra by walking on the path of being aggressive. But Alas! The first two outs of the day were in a manner which proved that at least this Bengal does not have the ability to win a Ranji final. Shahbaz pushed Unadkat’s ball towards the fine leg for a run. During the second run, Manoj left the crease and asked Shahbaz to go back. The Bengal all-rounder has gone beyond the mid-pitch at that moment. Unadkat had no difficulty in running out a throw from Arpit Vasavada.
Porel’s agression saved from the shame of an innings loss against Saurashtra
Saurashtra needed two wickets from Bengal. They already got one. However, still a faint hope for Bengal was alive with Manoj’s bat. That didn’t last long either. Manoj was picked up by Unadkat after two overs. Manoj fought back against Saurashtra with a jaw-dropping fight on the first day. He started well on Sunday. He indicated a big run. But the way he got out was unforgivable. Unadkat’s ball bounced well outside the offstump. It could easily have been left. Manoj suddenly touched the ball and took the bat away. At that moment, the catch was collected in the hands of Vishwaraj Jadeja at gully. The way Saurashtra cheered after losing Manoj, it was understood that they were waiting for this wicket.
In the next over Sakaria sent back Abhishek Porel. In the first innings, it was Porel who saved Bengal from the shame by scoring a half-century. On this day, he went for a pull shot against Sakaria. The ball however got palmed by Parth Bhut who was standing at deep square. Akash Deep went in the next over. He missed the line of Unadkat’s straight ball.
The last wicket partnership of Mukesh Kumar and Akashdeep may have saved Bengal’s loss in the innings in this journey. However, this loss in the Ranji final showed that Bengal still has a long way to go to win the Ranji.
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