| Haldipur: Final chance
Calcutta: Bengal will look to build on the momentum of their thumping victory over Assam when they take on Bihar in the second match of the East Zone one-dayers in Agartala Tuesday.
According to a source in the team management Bengal are set to go in with an unchanged squad for the match.
However, the performance of recalled opener Nikhil Haldipur will be under the scanner. He scored four in the first match. It was said that Tuesday will be the last chance for the left-hander. “If he delivers, good, otherwise, we’ll have to think of something else,” the source said.
Coach Sambaran Banerjee refused to comment on the issue. And about the match, he isn’t too worried. “The boys are really playing well and I don’t think Bihar will be too tough an opposition,” the coach told The Telegraph over telephone.
He added that Orissa will undoubtedly be the toughest team in the group. “We play them Thursday. But before that game, I want to have my top guns in the best of form,” he added. He said his aim is to go in for that bonus point, available for a big-margin win. Bengal got that point versus Assam.
Though all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla was down with fever Monday, doctors have said he is likely to be available for the game.
Meanwhile, the coach informed that the pitch of the Polytechnic ground does not look ideally suited for batting.
“The pitch looks a little slow and the ball is not really coming on to the bat. So our target will be to bat first and put up as many runs on the board as possible,” the coach added.
Sambaran went on to add that the morale of the team is high. “The most satisfying part of it (the victory over Assam) was that it was a complete team effort and that has helped the team immensely.”
Bengal recorded a 168-run victory in that match with Devang Gandhi making 164 and Ranadeb Bose taking four for 52.
Bengal Squad (likely): Nikhil Haldipur, Aurijit Bose, Devang Gandhi, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Subhamoy Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Sanjeeb Sanyal, Utpal Chatterjee, Sourashish Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose
Bengal U-19s lose
Meanwhile, The Bengal under-19 team crashed out of the Cooch Behar Trophy losing to Uttar Pradesh by 69 runs at Bilaspur Monday. Chasing UP’s first innings total of 227, they were all out for 158 on the third day.