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A Bengal win, finally

Wriddhiman Saha

Calcutta: Bengal have been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons this Ranji Trophy season and questions were being raised about coach Woorkeri Raman’s efficiency.

But Raman will have some breathing space now as Bengal registered their maiden win of the season on Monday, defeating Hyderabad by four wickets.

Known as a tough taskmaster, Raman, however, was in no mood to go gaga over his boys’ show.

“Even after a win, I’ve given the players a dressing down after they returned to the dressing room. We should have registered a comprehensive victory… We should have won the match by seven wickets. The batsmen need to buck up… The script should have been different. There is still a lot of room for improvement,” Raman said after the match.

Every word that Raman said was true. But one wonders if the coach’s hard talk has come a little late. With just one Group League match left, Bengal are not exactly in a handsome place to make the next round.

Coming back to the match, Bengal rode on half-centuries by Rohan Banerjee (56) and Wriddhiman Saha (52 not out) to reach the target of 181. Earlier, Shami Ahmed scalped two batsmen in the morning session to take his tally to six wickets in Hyderabad’s second innings. He finished with a match-haul of 10 wickets.

Bengal have kept their hopes alive, but just. The results of the other matches will have to favour of Bengal if they are harbouring hopes of a quarter final berth. They have 13 points from seven games.

In the morning, it took Bengal only 5.2 overs and 28 minutes to wrap up the Hyderabad innings after they added only nine runs to their overnight total. While Shami castled Syed Quadri and trapped Mehdi Hassan in front of the wicket, Laxmi Ratan Shukla got rid of Ravi Kiran.

But Bengal made a jittery start to their chase when they were reduced to 47 for three.

Rohan and Wriddhiman, however, stitched a partnership of 79 runs to steady the ship.


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