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Bengal begin with 152-run defeat

Jaipur: It couldnít have been worse. Bengal crashed to a humiliating 152-run loss in their Ranji Trophy opener against Rajasthan in Jaipur on Monday.

Chasing a mammoth 404 for victory, Bengal were all out for 251, unable to counter the spin of debutant Shamsher Singh (4/52) and the military medium pace of Sanjeev Sharma (3/55).

Sharma, incidentally, had wrecked Bengal in the first innings as well finishing with figures of six for 18.

A 126-run partnership between captain Rohan Gavaskar (96) and Sanjeeb Sanyal (60) was the only bright spot in the innings, but the visitors were found wanting at crucial moments. The victory ensured four points for Rajasthan while Bengal return empty-handed.

Bengal resumed the day at nine for one, with Devang Gandhi and Amitava Chakraborty at the crease. But none of them lasted too long, and the visitors were reeling at 114 for four at lunch.

But Rohan played some courageous shots, reaching his 50 in 118 minutes of 56 balls with six fours and a six. But the left-hander fell four short of the three-figure mark, caught by Sharma at short mid-wicket off Shamsher.

Shamsher removed Laxmi Ratan Shukla the very next ball and from there on, it was all downhill for the visitors. (PTI)

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