Saurashtra beats Bengal by nine wickets in Ranji final
KOLKATA: Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat returned a match haul of nine wickets, including 6/85 in the second innings, as Saurashtra thrashed Bengal by nine wickets in the summit clash to clinch its second Ranji Trophy title here on Sunday.
Having given away a big first innings lead of 230 runs, Bengal, which was overnight 169/4 in its second essay, folded for 241, handing the visitor a mere 12 runs target to win the final.
Saurashtra lost its opening batter Jay Gohil (0) off the bowling of Akash Deep but eventually went past the target, reaching 14 for 1 in 2.4 overs, to wrap up the match with one day and two full sessions to spare. Saurashtra’s earlier triumph was in 2019-20 season when it defeated Bengal on the basis of first innings lead. In the last 10 seasons, it has made the final on five occasions, underlining its consistency. A Ranji Trophy title eluded Bengal yet again. It last won it in 1989-90 when it defeated a star-studded Delhi at the same Eden Gardens. Its first title had come in 1938-39 in the pre-independence era.
Earlier in the morning session, Unadkat showed the way after a freak run-out of Bengal batter Shahbaz Ahmed (27). The veteran Saurashtra skipper added four wickets to his overnight tally of two.
The old Bengal warhorse duo of skipper Manoj Tiwary (68) and Anustup Majumdar (61) slammed valiant half-centuries but the home side was let down by its top-order batters, including the promising Abhimanyu Easwaran who scored 0 and 16 in the two innings. In-form No. 3 batter Sudip Gharami, who is fresh from a 112 and 41 in the semifinal against Madhya Pradesh and has 800-plus runs this season, also came a cropper and scored 0 and 14 in the two innings.
Brief scores: Bengal 174 & 241 in 70.4 overs (M Tiwary 68, A Majumdar 61, J Unadkat 6/85, C Sakariya 3/76) lost to Saurashtra 404 & 14/1 in 2.4 overs
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