The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal in crunch tie vs Orissa today

Agartala: Bengal are upbeat as they go into Thursday’s crunch match vs Orissa in the East-zone one-day encounter at the MBB Stadium. With both the teams having two wins under their belts, it will be a virtual shoot-out for both the sides. The winners almost assure themselves a place in the national meet.

However, Bengal had a tough time getting things ready for the match. Coach Sambaran Banerjee said five players were unwell and could not practise on the eve of the match. “Subhamoy was suffering from back spasms, Rohan had a breathing problem. Nikhil, Moyanko and Laxmi also were feverish.”

However, the coach informed that after intensive treatment for the whole day, all the players were fit for the match. “We had brought in Alokendu Lahiri in case anybody failed to be fit. But since all are fit now, we go in with an unchanged squad.”

The think-tank also did not intend on tinkering with a winning combination. “When a team is playing so well, why make changes'”

Sambaran added that the two comprehensive victories have been a motivating factor for the team. “I sat with them and gave them the ‘vocal tonic’ that is essential to charge them up for such a big match.”

He also informed that though the pitch does a bit in the morning, they would love to bat first. “It’s always good to put up a good score in such a pressure match,” Sambaran added.

He, however, sounded extremely respectful about the opposition. All the top players (excepting medium-pacer Ajoy Barik) are here. “They have beaten us earlier and it won’t be easy by any means.”

Bengal team (likely): Nikhil Haldipur, Aurijit Bose, Devang Gandhi, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Subhamoy Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Sanjeeb Sanyal, Utpal Chatterjee, Ranadeb Bose, Sourashish Lahiri.

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