Rajkot: Bengal got a real hiding as Saurashrta recorded a thumping 270-run victory in a Ranji Trophy match. Ravindra Jadeja finished with a match-haul of eight wickets and the win kept Saurashtra’s chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages alive.
Chasing a massive target of 431 was out of question as Bengal’s innings ended at 160 in only 55.4 overs at the fall of ninth wicket. Captain Manoj Tiwary didn’t bat due to a back injury. Jadeja picked up four for 50 in the second innings, while Nayan Doshi got three wickets.
The six points from the match took Saurashtra’s tally to 15 points and they are second in Group A. Bengal remained on seven points and are placed seventh with two matches remaining.
One couldn’t have expected a better all-round show from Jadeja who scored 70 and 68 in both innings and had a match-haul of 8/98 which would certainly boost his confidence as he leaves for Nagpur to join his teammates for the fourth and final Test against England.
Starting the day at 65 for three, it was a near-impossible task for the inept Bengal line-up which has faltered consistently during the away matches. Left-handed opener Rohan Banerjee grinded for more than three hours to score 47 hitting only three fours in the process during the 149 balls that he faced. He added 57 runs with Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (25) for the fourth wicket.
Once Jhunjhunwala was bowled by Jadeja playing to a wrong line, the others didn’t show any stomach for fighting it out. Laxmi Ratan Shukla played a cameo as he blasted 35 runs off only 12 balls with the help of four boundaries and three sixes. Although it was a brief entertainment for his teammates, Shukla knew it was a lost battle.