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Bengal crash to 118

Jaipur, Nov. 8 (PTI): After barely holding onto an Elite Group berth last season, Bengal have made a nightmarish start to their Ranji Trophy campaign this time around. Chasing a paltry first-innings total of 253, Bengal were bowled out for 118 in their Group B match against Rajasthan Saturday.

At stumps, the hosts were 32 for one, with Vineet Saxena (9) and Rohit Jhalani (4) at the crease. Gagan Khoda (16) was the only man to be dismissed.

Veteran medium-pacer Sanjeev Sharma brought about Bengalís downfall, finishing with figures of six for 18. Deep Dasgupta did nothing to boost his chances for a berth in the Indian squad for the tour Down Under, being dismissed for four.

Earlier, resuming at 205 for six, Rajasthan managed to cross the 250-mark, courtesy an unbeaten 40 by Anshu Jain. Medium-pacer Shib Shankar Paul was the most successful bowler, returning with figures of six for 68.

But the Bengal batsmen surrendered meekly to the guile of Sharma. Allrounder Sanjeeb Sanyal (31) and Sourashish Lahiri (22) offered some resistance, helping the Bengal total go past the 100-mark. Opener Amitava Chakrabarty (24) did a reasonable job at the top of the order.

For Rajasthan, Sharma was well supported by medium-pacer Sumit Mathur, who took three for 47.

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