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Under-19 tie ends in draw, but state shines

- Jharkhand to take on Kerala in next outing from December 22 to 25

An enterprising 83 by Kaushal Singh was the highlight of the Cooch Behar Trophy (under-19) Elite group C tie between Jharkhand and Bengal, which ended in a draw at Keenan Stadium on Tuesday.

Kaushal hammered his runs in 117 deliveries which contained eight boundaries and three sixes as Jharkhand scored 244 for 7 at close. The youngster had scored a fine 58 in the first essay to help his side take the crucial first innings lead.

Opener Shashim Rathour also contributed with a composed 52, while Sumit Kumar, who scored 83 in the first innings, came up with 58 off 154 deliveries. Skipper Vishal Singh managed eight runs against his name.

Jharkhand earned three points from the outing while Bengal got 1.

Kaushal continued from where he left and sent the Bengal fielders to the cleaners with some lusty hitting. He attacked both the pacers and spinners. Kaushal was settled for a century but was evicted by S.S. Debnath who had him caught by captain A.A. Gani.

Shashim, who failed in the first essay, settled into a nice groove after Jharkhand lost Vishal cheaply. Shashim started with caution but grew in confidence.

The youngster played the Bengal bowlers without discomfort and reached a half-century.

Sumit had things under his control right from the start. The right-hander played freely to compile his runs against the tired Bengal bowlers. Sumit looked set for more but fell to Debnath who had him caught behind the stumps by P.S. Sarkar.

Jharkhand scored 185 in the first innings. Bengal replied with 157, thus conceding a crucial 39 lead to their opponents.

Jharkhand take on Kerala in their next outing. The away match is scheduled from December 22 to 25.