| Sourav Ganguly and national selector Pranab Roy watch the Ranji Trophy tie at the Eden Wednesday. In the background is Ranadeb Bose who finished with ten wickets in the match. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: Himachal Pradesh had to remain satisfied with one point as Bengal managed to force a draw on the final day of their Ranji Trophy tie Wednesday.
Set a target of 374 in 76 overs, the early fall of two wickets made no impact as Rohan Gavaskar held the innings together with an unbeaten 103. But the one home player who outshone the rest in this game is Ranadeb Bose. The medium pacer finished with match figures of ten for 168.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to concede the first innings lead because of one bad session on the second day,” rued Rohan.
“We failed to record a point in the opening game against Rajasthan because of the weather. But there’s nothing to be disheartened.
“The format is such that the group is wide open and there’s still a lot of cricket left,” the Bengal skipper added.
Rohan’s 14th first class and 10th Ranji hundred was a responsible innings stamped with authority. The positive approach in his batting suggested that the hosts were ready to go in for the chase.
“The chase obviously didn’t go as planned,” lamented Rohan.
Devang’s dismissal proved to be costly for the home side. Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s promotion in the batting order was also of no use as he failed to perform as a ‘pinch hitter’.
Rohan’s unbeaten 103 came off 131 balls and included 12 fours and three sixes. He was ably supported by Deep Dasgupta, who batted long for his 41.
Deep kept rotating the strike as Rohan took the attack to the rival bowlers. But Subhomoy Das and Sanjib Sanyal failed to perform this supporting role to perfection once Deep left following a mix-up.
Subhomoy, who had shown great promise last season, seems to be struggling in his endeavour this time. His footwork has been tentative and he doesn’t seem confident in his approach.
The same applies for Sanjib. The uncertainty surrounding his role in the team seems to have affected his form. He has been underbowled in both the matches and his batting never flourished.
While these two youngsters are yet to get off the blocks, Ranadeb has grabbed the opportunity. He finished with four for 58 in the Himachal second innings following his six-wicket haul in the first. The disciplined line and ability to move the ball both ways is his forte.
Vikram Rathore’s delayed declaration did steal some time off Bengal’s run chase but then he could hardly be blamed as he took the safety-first approach.
Bengal decided to retain the same squad for their next Ranji Trophy tie against Railways in Siliguri from November 27. It is likely that Moyanka Chakraborty will replace Sanjib in the playing XI.