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Saurabh-Kanishk give Bengal second Cooch Behar Trophy
22nd January 2017
Bengal rode on the prowess and gumption of two unlikely heroes Saurabh Singh and Kanishk Seth to lift the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy for the second time today breaking a jinx that lasted almost two decades.
The Cricket Association of Bengal has announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs to the victorious team. The team will return to the city tomorrow. On January 24 the skipper Irfan Ansari will hoist the CAB flag at the Club House premises.
Most of the members of the Bengal team that won the Trophy last in 1997 no longer play cricket. Some work as coaches and one of them is a minister now. The only exception is the skipper of that team Dharmender Singh. He still plays for Tapan Memorial in CAB’s domestic league.
Jt Secretary Subir Ganguly said: “We had held together the same team for two years now and the result has shown. We got Pranab Nandy as the coach as we knew he is very disciplined and focussed. We will celebrate this moment.”
An elated CAB President tweeted: #CABPresident @SouravGanguly says: Congrats to the Bengal U19 boys for making us proud. #coochbehartrophy, while Jt Secretary Avishek Dalmiya said: “It is a great win. We are really proud of the boys and what they did. I am sure they will achieve greater success in future.”

Chasing Delhi’s formidable score of 314, at one point Bengal were 85 for four and a familiar tale of choking in the big games continued. At 180 for 6 things were looking no brighter. But Saurabh Singh had other ideas.
“The team had a clear strategy. I could not lose my wicket. I had to hold on to one end. So when I came out to bat I was decided to keep it simple. Play bad balls, leave out good ones,” said the Lucknow lad who now plays for Shyambazar Club.
Saurabh, whose father is a policeman back home, showed the same discipline as he began building the innings first with captain Md Irfan Ansari (38) and then with Kanishk Seth. “I told Kanishk that we needed to stay at the pitch and keep scoring but not lose the wicket. It was not easy, the pitch was difficult, but we never lost focus,” said Saurabh.
Saurabh, who moved into town 5 years back, played for DKS for three years before moving to Shyambazar. He however began with Taltala a division below.
The duo put on 182 runs for the seventh wicket to take Bengal past Delhi’s score. By the time Kanishk Seth got out for a stellar 91 off mammoth 212 balls, Bengal had made 362. Bengal were finally bowled out for 393. Saurabh was out next for 196 runs stitched for over 527 balls studded with 20 boundaries.
Kanishk, who missed a century, said: "It does not matter. What matters is that we won and I contributed in some way. We had a plan and we executed it to perfection."

Arindam Basu