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Bengal get a spanking
- Parab hits century as Bengal bowlers are taken to cleaners

Calcutta: Paras Mhambrey is widely respected in the domestic circuit for being a shrewd tactician. On Friday, Bengal got a taste of the ‘Paras Way’ as the Baroda batsmen, led by veteran opener Satyajit Parab (154, 230balls, 20x4, 2x6), humiliated them in the Ranji Trophy Super League tie at the Eden.

Mhambrey is a firm believer in the theory that Ranji matches are, more or less, one-innings games. So, the Mumbaikar’s strict instruction was to bat the hosts out as three points had already been ensured.

The match as a contest was dead at the end of the third day itself when Baroda took a first innings lead. But the former Bengal coach and his wards made sure they added insult to injury by plundering 400 runs in a single day.

Not only did they make the Deep Dasguptas slog tirelessly without any result but also caused a severe dent to Bengal’s confidence before they take on Karanataka, in Mysore, from Tuesday.

Baroda’s 458 for seven in the second innings would surely have robbed Bengal of the confidence they gained from their away win against Maharashtra in Pune. A point from a home game is hardly something to cheer about.

Starting the day at 58 for one, Ranadeb Bose quickly removed Azhar Bilakhia (14), trapping him leg before. However, that was the last hope the Bengal boys would have for miracle on a pitch which had nothing in it to stop the batsmen from playing their shots.

Jacob Martin (52, 104 balls, 7x4) was happy to play second fiddle to Parab who went after every bowler save Bose. Sourav Sarkar (1/94), Sourashis Lahiri (2/131) and Sayan Sekhar Mondal (2/97) were punished with equal disdain by Parab who is in his 13th season of first-class cricket.

He got to the century when he played Abhishek Jhunjhunwala to the fine leg region for a couple.

Lahiri, who led the side in the absence of an injured Shukla (resting with hamstring injury), failed to impress. The field placement lacked imagination, so did the bowling changes which didn’t work.

Martin was finally dismissed after a 118-run partnership when he was caught at silly-point by Arindam Ghosh off Jhunjhunwala at the stroke of lunch.

The pre-lunch session and an hour after lunch belonged to Parab, whose nearly five-and-a-half hour knock was ended by a brilliant diving catch by Dibyendu Chakraborty who had to run 15 yards from long-off, but, after that, it was pure entertainment from Yusuf Pathan (63, 48 balls, 6x4, 1x6) who clobbered the bowling with great gusto.

If the on-field humiliation wasn’t enough, the entire team were docked 10 per cent of their match-fees for slow over-rate with skipper Shukla being fined 20 per cent of his. The Baroda team, too, were similarly penalised for the same offence.

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