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Bengal bat Baroda out of final spot

Baroda lost the plot after managing just 241 in their first innings despite winning the toss in good batting conditions.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 18:35 IST

Bengal were on field during Baroda’s second innings when Rohan Gavaskar joined the coach and reserve players at their designated place near the boundary rope little before tea.

This was his first visit to the Eden during this Ranji Trophy match and the players welcomed their former captain, who skipped the match because of fever, with a round of clap. That they could still indulge in a bit of nonsense while play was on showed how meaningless this contest has become, for everybody.

Beginning at 517 for six, Bengal lost Laxmi Ratan Shukla in the fifth over of the day, but the tail wagged on till the fourth over after lunch to take Bengal to 619. With nothing to play for apart from scoring what would be some redundant runs, Baroda laboured to 101 for two in 44 overs.

There was nothing significant in the fourth day’s proceedings, apart from Bengal off-spinner Sourasish Lahiri posting his highest first-class score and sharing a ninth-wicket stand of 90 with left-arm spinner Shivsagar Singh.

It’s difficult to find a reason why the last day should be any different, apart from figures, which will have no impact on the outcome. In the end, Bengal will officially reach the final where they meet Uttar Pradesh for the trophy.

The game actually ended as a contest after Day 3 when Bengal showed true grit and lost just one wicket to extend their lead so much that made sure this match could head in only one direction.

From Baroda’s point of view, they lost the plot after managing just 241 in their first innings despite winning the toss in good batting conditions.

“We needed 400 on this wicket. On this fast outfield, two good partnerships would have done the job. Three or four players got out to bad shots,” coach Balwinder Singh Sandhu said on why his team was on the backfoot right from the start.

Sandhu said he doesn’t remember seeing Bengal play such positive cricket. Bengal were aggressive in a quiet way. Even after taking such a mammoth lead, skipper Dasgupta didn’t set an offensive field. This quiet aggression has been the hallmark of his team.

SCOREBOARD

Baroda (1st innings): 241 Bengal (1st innings): A Das c Shah b Patel 0, SG Das c&b Y Pathan 115, Jhunjhunwala lbw b Patel 0, Tiwary c Y Pathan b Pawar 35, Mondal lbw b Pawar 5, Dasgupta c Shah b Joshi 171, Shukla c Shah b Joshi 141, Lahiri b I Pathan 62, S Singh not out 40, Bose c Martin b I Pathan 0, Paul c Shah b I Pathan 0, extras -- b 19, lb 12, nb 19 -- 50 Total: 619 Fall of wkts: 1-8, 2-10, 3-108, 4-128, 5191, 6-505, 7-523, 8-613, 9-613 Bowling: Patel 38-10-111-2, I Pathan 35-9-91-3, Joshi 31-7-83-2, Pawar 5213-113-2, Y Pathan 40-10-103-1, Bhoite 21-4-65-0, Solanki 4-0-13-0, Powar 2-07-0, Martin 1-0-2-0 Baroda (2nd innings): P Shah b Bose 13, Solanki b Shukla 10, Williams not out 34, Martin not out 30, Extras -- b 9, nb 5 -- 14 Total (2 wkts): 101 Fall of wkts: 1-19, 2-30 Bowling: Paul 9-4-16-0 Bose 11-2-38-1, Shukla 9-5-9-1, Lahiri 9-0-17-0, Singh 6-2-12-0

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 18:35 IST