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Bengal let down by poor batting

Calcutta: Bengal suffered a major blow to their campaign in the East Zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy when they lost to Jharkhand by 136 runs in Ranchi on Monday.

Put into bat, Jharkhand made 273 for nine in their 50 overs. Young Virat Singh was the top scorer for Jharkhand with 76 off 85 balls. His innings included five boundaries and a six.

Ashok Dinda was the most successful bowler picking up five wickets.

Jharkhand openers Ishank Jaggi and Ashish Yadav got off to a good start putting on 62 before Veer Pratap Singh dismissed both to give Bengal a ray of hope. But Virat and Tiwary got together to add 95 runs for the second wicket to steady the innings.

Bengal, in reply, never really looked to be in the chase. None of the batsmen except for opener Wriddhiman Saha (31 off 55 balls) and Manoj Tiwary (43 off 59 balls) managed to put up a challenge.

Captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla felt it was a bad day in office.

“A bad day for us, that’s all I can say... Just bad batting,” said Shukla.

“There was no devil in the wicket. Rather, it was a perfect ODI wicket. It’s just that we played badly and let ourselves down.”

It was learnt that coach Ashok Malhotra had a meeting with the senior pros of the Bengal team — Shukla, Wriddhiman, Dinda and Manoj - after the match, as they discussed about the ways to avoid such a batting disaster.