Calcutta: Yet again, Laxmi Ratan Shukla was left sulking after his effort with the bat went in vain.
On a pitch where batting seems to be the toughest job, the Bengal captain hit a 25-ball 46. But his team were bundled out for a paltry 139. Bengal, again, go into the New Year in a disappointing fashion.
The optimist that he is, Shukla still believes Bengal can fight back and go on to win the game. The fact that Bengal bowlers decimated Tamil Nadu for 85 to take a first innings lead of 45 makes him feel positive. But as long as Dinesh Karthik is there at the crease, Shukla knows it well that Bengal faces a near-impossible task.
“Yes, I know it will be more than an uphill task for us since they are well placed at this moment. But don’t forget the pitch where we’re playing.
“If we can get two quick wickets in the first hour tomorrow, I feel we’ll be right back in the game. It’s not over yet. Don’t write us off,” Shukla said from Chennai.
The Bengal camp is bitterly upset with the umpiring in this match. Said a team source, “Karthik was out twice. He was plumb leg-before off the bowling of Iresh (Saxena), but the umpire rejected our appeal.
“Off Arnab Nandi’s bowling, the ball clearly hit his bat before being taken by the fielder. Yet, the umpire ruled in the batsman’s favour.”
Shukla feels it’s poor batting that put Tamil Nadu on the driving seat. “Some decisions did go against us. But just like our first innings, we batted badly in our second essay as well. There is no justification in scoring just a 139,” he said.