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Wriddhi stars for Bengal

Wriddhiman Saha on way to his 71

Calcutta: Beating a team like Tripura might not be a big deal, but what would please Bengal the most is the manner in which they prevailed over the former to qualify for the main phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Riding Wriddhiman Saha’s breathtaking 37-ball 71, Bengal inflicted a 72-run hammering over Tripura, in Friday’s zonal leg tie, at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground, to be on course for a top place finish in the zone.

Wriddhiman tore into the Tripura attack after a reprieve on naught, in the very first over of the day. Rajib Saha, at point, dropped a sitter off the bowling of Manisankar Murasingh.

He played some delightful strokes, mainly on the leg side, as Bengal raced to 81 for one in just eight overs. Later, Pankaj Shaw’s unbeaten 38 and Sanjib Sanyal’s rampaging 6-ball 25 helped Bengal finish at an imposing 196 at the loss of five wickets.

The total was beyond the reach of Tripura, who somehow scrambled their way to 124 for eight.

Meanwhile, with Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Wriddhiman, Manoj Tiwary and Veer Pratap Singh not available for the main phase, Sreevats Goswami, medium-pacers Sayan Ghosh and Sourav Mondal, along with Avilin Ghosh have been named as their replacements.

“(Ashok) Dinda, though, has expressed his desire to play in the first match of the tournament’s phase before joining his IPL franchise,” CAB joint secretary Sujan Mukherjee said.

Sourashish Lahiri will take up the captaincy role in Shukla’s absence. The off-spinner may play the role from Saturday against Odisha itself as Shukla is set to skip the tie.

Abhishek Das could come in as his replacement.