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Shahbaz bags maiden hat-trick as Bengal
wrap it up in three days

22th January 2020
Shahbaz Ahamad completed his first hat-trick for Bengal and combined up with lethal pace duo Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar to help the hosts thrash Hyderabad by an innings and 303 runs today in Ranji Trophy Elite Group A encounter at Bengal Cricket Academy today.
Resuming the day on 83/5 Hyderabad batter Jaweed Ali (72) fought a lone battle to resurrect the visitors’ innings before being removed by Shahbaz while the Bengal all-rounder went on to take the wickets of Sumanth Kolla (8) and Ravi Kiran in consecutive deliveries and complete his hat-trick.
Shahbaz said after the match: “I am feeling very happy to bag hat-trick for Bengal. To be honest I didn’t try anything different for the hat-trick ball, repeated my last delivery only. Akash and Mukesh bowled really well today.”
“David sir (Utpal Chatterjee) helped us a plan well for the opponent batters. I dedicate my hat-trick to Arun Lal sir,” he added.
The visitors were bundled out for a paltry 171 chasing Bengal’s huge total of 635 runs as Akash and Mukesh picked up 3 wickets apiece and help the hosts enforce follow-on.
Put to bat again the visitors could only amass 161 runs as the Bengal pace duo made life miserable for the Hyderabad batters while the three-legged spin attack asked all the uncomfortable questions to wrap it up with one more day let to play.
In the second innings Akash continued his red hot form to bag 4 wickets, Shahbaz took 2 wickets while Arnab Nandi and Mukesh got 1 each.
"We played immaculate cricket. Wicket didn't turn at all when we expected it to turn. Hats off to our pacers they bowled with a lot of venom. We won the match yesterday itself by taking five wickets," Bengal coach and mentor Arun Lal said.
"Two of our games washed out otherwise we would have been in top of the table. The big plus were Shahbaz (49) and Arnab Nandi (65 not out). They are capable of getting hundreds. This is a sensational team," he said referring to their batting contributions in the first innings.
Arnab and Mukesh impressed with the ball, however were unlucky not to take more wickets.
Triple centurion Manoj Tiwary stood in as wicketkeeper in the post lunch session, after Shreevats Goswami hurt his knee and looked sharp behind the stumps as he effected the caught-behind dismissal of Ravi Teja and also executed run outs of Ali and Mehid Hasan.

Rio Dutta