|Ashok Dinda and Mohammed Shami, after Bengal’s victory in a quarter-final
tie of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, at the Eden, on Tuesday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: This was billed as a high-voltage clash keeping in mind the Woorkeri Raman factor. But in the end it turned out to be a celebration of Bengal’s bowling pair of Mohammed Shami and Ashok Dinda.
Defending 167 on a greenish Eden wicket, the pair picked up seven wickets to destroy the backbone of Tamil Nadu batting. The 77-run victory earned Bengal a berth in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semis.
“There’s nothing much to say… It was an important match which we had to win… We wanted this sort of a green wicket and things fell to our plan. The runs we managed to score were less than we had expected, but the effort put in by the bowlers was great,” a beaming Laxmi Ratan Shukla said on Tuesday.
“We were always confident that we would win… Dinda had said the other day that he and Shami will be a force to reckon with and I’m happy that he kept his words. But there are tougher battles ahead and we have to improve our batting,” the Bengal captain said.
“You always learn more by playing on such green wickets. Everyone can score on flat wickets… Some of our batsmen gave away their wickets easily and that was unfortunate.”
Shami, who picked up four wickets, said he enjoys bowling with Dinda. “I always enjoy bowling with him… We always back each other and keep suggesting various things in between overs. This mutual understanding helps in picking wickets.
“I haven’t played much for Bengal this season… It’s nice that I’ve managed to make some notable contributions in this match… I won’t be available for the rest of the matches. I will miss this atmosphere a lot,” said Shami.
Dinda, too, couldn’t hide his feelings. “We have mutual respect for each other. Shami’s suggestions always help… If we play together, the opponents will always be in trouble. Let’s not also forget the contributions of Veer Pratap Singh and Laxmi… The back-up was good and that helped us win so easily. It has been a team effort.”
Shami felt the constant switch from one format to another hasn’t been much of a worry. “I’m used to all sorts of formats. We are mature individuals and don’t find much trouble in this constant switch of formats.
“Whatever the format, playing a match is more important than practice,” felt the India pacer.
Shukla declined there were any hard feelings between the teams. “There wasn’t anything special in this victory. This was just another match for us. We won on a turner in Chennai and now we’ve won on a green top. There are no hard feelings.”
Dinda was also pragmatic. “We had to win, irrespective of which team we were playing against… We would have shown the same intent against any other team. The aggression and the motivation would have been the same.”
Shukla didn’t wish to read much into the show of emotion after an appeal against Yo Mahesh was turned down off his own bowling. “I was excited… This comes out of one’s involvement in a match… But don’t read much into it… It happens in the heat of the moment.”
The Bengal captain was spoken to by Match Referee Manu Nayar after the match. It is expected that there won’t be any harsh measures.