Five-star Ishan tilts game in Bengal’s favour
1st March 2020
Bengal’s pace troika led by Ishan Porel destroyed fancy Karnataka and took a healthy runs lead in the first innings after Anustup Majumdar’s unbeaten century breathed life into the host’s innings in the Ranji Trophy semi-final at Eden Gardens here today.
On a day that saw 15 wickets tumble, Karnataka first nosedived to 122 all out, losing its last six batters for 66 runs, before Bengal limped its way to 72 for 4 in the second innings, 262 in front.
On a day belonged to the bowlers, Bengal's Ishan Porel was a standout. Porel struck with the fourth ball of his first over and then struck again in his next over, providing Bengal with a dream start. He had R. Samarth caught in the slip, and then accounted for Karnataka skipper Karun Nair in a similar fashion.
Each time Porel bowled, he had a quick little stare at the batsman with a strong body language: a face-off packed with Porel's adrenalin, and Rahul's desire. Porel's first spell (6-1-16-2) left Karnataka plenty to ponder at lunch, with the visitor reeling at 45-3.
Mukesh Kumar dealt two decisive blows immediately after the break, sending Manish Pandey's middle stump cart-wheeling in the 21st over and then getting K L Rahul to hole out to a diving Abhishek Raman at deep point, a few balls later and a follow-on looked imminent.
However, K Gowtham and Abhimanyu Mithun's fighting half-century stand helped Karnataka save some face. But once Porel had Mithun caught at long-leg, Akas Deep ran through the bottom order to complete the task. Porel finished with five for 32 — his third five-for in Ranji Trophy. Akash Deep, who picked three for 30, and Mukesh Kumar who got two for 46, struck the decisive nails alongside their teammate.
Earlier, Mithun picked up 3 for 77 as Bengal added only 37 to its overnight total of 275 for 9.
Majumdar hit two sixes and three fours to remain unbeaten on 149. Bengal's last four wickets added 246.
CAB MEDIA DESK