Calcutta: Sudip Chatterjee didn’t hide his disappointment on missing what would have been his maiden first-class century by just four runs.
“Yes, I was feeling bad… I was disappointed. I expected to get the century, but then that is how it is. I’m more focused now on the team’s cause as we have to win the match,” Sudip, the day’s hero, said.
Sudip’s 163-run partnership with Abhimanyu Easwaran rescued Bengal from a difficult situation. Sudip said it was all about setting small goals. “The plan was to build a partnership… So we kept our goals small, of about 20-30 runs. We knew early struggle would make it easier later in the day.”
Sudip and Easwaran’s effort earned praise from coach Ashok Malhotra. “Bengal’s ‘Gen Next’ performed today… They showed the talent we have,” Malhotra said. Captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, too, lauded Sudip. “Under such pressure, it was an outstanding knock by Sudip. I’m very happy with how our youngsters have played.”
Shukla also said that with Wriddhiman Saha still at the crease, Bengal can hope for a good total. “With Wriddhi there, we hope to add maximum runs to our total. But there’s not point setting any particular target,” Shukla said.
For Railways coach Abhay Sharma, the match is evenly poised. "All credit to Sudip and Abhimanyu for the way they batted. But the game is still evenly poised as we came back strongly today. We hope to get the remaining two Bengal wickets quickly on Thursday," Sharma said.