Bengal coast into Ranji semifinal
24th February 2020
Even as Bengal coasted into the semi-final after taking a convincing first innings lead against Odhisa in their Ranji Trophy tie, the team decrys any complacency or over-confidence as they train their eyes on the big apple.
Bengal scored 332 and 373 in their two innings, to which Odhisa could muster 250 and 39 after which the captains shook hands for a draw.
Coach Arun Lal said: "The team is in the right frame of mind. Everyone is chipping in. We are playing like an unit. There is great atmosphere and camaredrie in the dressing room and a quiet belief that we can go the distance.
The next two days I have asked the boys to take their mind off cricket. They have been playing nonstop. Then we get back to the drawing board. It looks like Karnataka for the penultimate game. They are good side, but to be the best we need to beat them and the self-belief is there."
Shahbaz Ahmed contributed with his bat in both the innings, but his seventh wicket partnership with Arnab Nandy really hurt Odhisa and took aways all the wind from Odhisa's sail. Shahbaz (64) and Arnab (45) scored 78 runs for the seventh wicket. Earlier, Avishek Raman (67) and Sreevats Goswami (78) gave Bengal the kind of solidity it required early in the innings.
Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran was all joy. "It is a great feeling easing into the semifinal. Now is the time not to lose focus. Everyone has contributed in and raised their hand and got counted. We want to keep our eyes. But there is no let up. We are striving everyday to be better versions of ourselves. Karnataka is a very strong side. But we are concerned with our team. We will be talking with our think tank and play to our strength. We know in order to be best we have the beat the best."
Bengal will resume practice from February 27.
Senior Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary is laser focussed. He said: "Yes, it was a great. But we just don't want to be swept away by happiness as we have work left. There is a belief in the team that we can take on anyone. We need to keep that fighting spirit on. We have a few very talented bolwers who are wating to bowl at the Karnataka line-up which looks very strong. Similarly the Bengal batsmen want to take on Karnataka bowlers. We will come out with confidence and a strategy. Whoever plays better cricket will win.
CAB MEDIA DESK