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Sports


3 late wickets inspire Bengal fightback in Ranji Trophy quarterfinal

Cuttack, Feb 21 (UNI) Three late wickets on a placid Cuttack wicket inspired Bengal fightback
into their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Odisha to restrict the hosts to 151/4 at the
end of the second day's play.
Resuming the day on 308/6 Bengal were bundled out for 332 runs as Anustup Majumder
smashed a superb 157 while Shahbaz Ahamad made 82 off 158 deliveries.
Bengal coach Arun Lal said, "We did well at the end to get those wickets, that's a big bonus. Opponents batters showed lot of patience, lot of energies and strategies. When things are
not going your way be patient- that's good cricket. Both the teams did that. If we can get couple
of wickets in the first hour, we will sit on top of them."
"We should've gotten more runs. Shahbaz got out early today and after him we have three medium pacers lined up. I would've been happier if we got to 360," he added.
While defending Nilkantha Das gave Bengal early breakthrough by Anurag Sarangi in the
fifth over to reduce Odisha to 10/1.
After that wicket Bengal bowlers worked hard for more than 53 overs but failed to get any
wicket as the pitch was not offering much to the bowlers and Odisha batters Shantanu Mishra
and Debasish Samantray stitched 125-run partnership.
In the 58th over Nilkantha removed Debasish on 68 as Shreevats Goswami caught him
behind while Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz sent Shantanu back 6.5 overs later.
About the wicket Bengal coach said, "The wicket has become very placid, very dry. Maybe
on fourth-fifth day it will turn as already Shahbaz's couple of deliveries have turned.
Throughout the day it was looking impossible to get any wicket, nothing was happening."
Both the half-centurions for Odisha batted well and showed a lot of patience against potent Bengal bowling attack to build the innings.
Ishan Porel bagged his only wicket by removing Govinda Poddar for 11 and helped Bengal complete a late fightback.
UNI BM
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