| Devang: Strokeful 72
Hyderabad: Bengal managed to avert defeat against hosts Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy elite group match at the Gymkhana ground Sunday.
The draw helped Hyderabad earn a valuable point while Bengal failed to add to their tally of two points.
Hyderabad, after taking a valuable 82-run first innings lead, declared at 238 for five to set a challenging 321-run target for Bengal.
Bengal, desperate for a point, took up the challenge with middle-order batsman Sanjeeb Sanyal asked to open the batting along with Deep Dasgupta. But Sanyal’s miserable run continued as he got out for four.
Deep (18) also did not last long leaving the visitors at 51 for two. However, Devang Gandhi carried on with his excellent run this season with a strokeful 72. Captain Rohan Gavaskar (42) and Amitava Chakraborty (43) also made some useful contributions. But Bengal kept on losing wickets at regular intervals shutting out any hopes of a victory. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who was the highest scorer for Bengal in the first innings, tried his best, but he also was dismissed for 26.
In fact things looked dicey for Bengal with the score on 226 for seven. However, Alokendu Lahiri (21) played out the last few overs with Sourashish Lahiri to help Bengal avoid further humiliation.
Earlier, Daniel Manohar (119) and A. Nandkishore (100) completed their centuries as the hosts added 156 runs to their overnight total in quick time.
But with this result, Bengal are unlikely to move into the next round. Their next games are against Mumbai in Mumbai and against Delhi in Delhi, and things will really be difficult, to say the least.
However, there is some good news for the Bengal team. Subhamoy Das, dependable middle-order batsman will be available for the match against Mumbai starting Saturday. It was learnt that the player has recovered well from the waist injury sustained before the game against Hyderabad.