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Skipper Easwaran leads from the front
as spinners Shahbaz, Pradipta set stage for turnaround



17th June 2022
Bengal skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran led from the front with a gritty unbeaten fifty during the chase after spin-duo Shahbaz Ahmed and Pradipta Pramanik picked 9 wickets jointly to set the stage for a turnaround in a high-voltage Ranji trophy semifinal game against Madhya Pradesh today at Alur Stadium, Bangalore.
Bengal spinners Shahbaz registered a fiery five-for while Pradipta took 4 to bundle MP for 281 runs from 163/2.
Pradipta said: "
We (me & Shahbaz) had a discussion last night about how we were going to bowl today and our aim was to not let the MP batters play any easy shot, to make them work hard for the runs and contain the runs as much as possible. Big partnerships needed now, we will give everything while batting. The wicket is good. New ball is turning on this wicket, it's becoming easier for the batters when the ball is getting old, becoming slow."
Bengal needing 350 runs to seal a spot in the Ranji trophy final got off to a shaky start losing Abhishek Raman on the first delivery off Kumar Kartikeya.
Sudip Gharami and Easwaran steadied the ship till the young Bengal batter went back on 19 off a questionable lbw decision.
After that Abhishek Porel who was promoted up the order failed to contribute much while experienced Manoj Tiwary also became Kartikeya's victim.
Skipper Easwaran spoke post the day's play: "
It was great bowling from Shahbaz and Pradipta to help us make a comeback from where we were yesterday. It was great to watch them bowl, this shows that we can adapt to this condition well. Very happy with their performance."
"We know how the wicket is behaving now. It's a little slow, turning a little bit. I think tomorrow will be about how much determined we are. It's about batting long and make big partnerships, if we can do that we have good chance to win this game. If we want to go to the finals I think this is the time to take responsibilities. If we bat well tomorrow it's a chaseable," he added.
Easwaran batted with grit to make 52 off 104 deliveries and stayed unbeaten till the end along with Anustup Majumder with Bengal needing 254 runs from the final day to reach the finals.



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