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Bengal U-19 eye victory on final day

28th November 2022
Bowlers displayed a dominating performance to put Bengal within touching distance of victory against Chandigarh in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
The home side are just six wickets away from a fantastic win after Chandigarh ended the third day's play at 54/4 in their second innings after chasing a target of 189.
Earlier, Bengal scored 156 in their second innings in reply to Chandigarh's first innings total of 224.
Resuming the day from overnight score of 203/7, Chandigarh looked to add some vital runs to their total and gather a vital lead.
But the Bengal bowlers were clinical and disciplined in their line and length right from the start.
Sukhmeet Singh dismissed Paras early and that paved way for two more as the visitors' innings folded for 224 thus handing a crucial 32-run lead to Bengal. In reply, Bengal in their second innings, began the proceedings slowly and found themselves in a bit of trouble at 17/3. But opener Sumit Nag (26) held the innings firmly playing some fine shots but his stay at the crease was also cut short as he was adjourned leg before of the bowling of Nishunk Birla to leave the home side at 38-4.
The dismissal of Sumit opened the door for Chandigarh to bag a few more wickets as Bengal were left struggling at 62-6 with lead of 94 runs. A much-needed counter-attack by lower-order batsmen Milind Mondal (30), Sukhmeet (28), Rahul Prasad (26) and Sayed Irfan Aftab (21) took the team past 150-run mark. The home side gathered a 188-run lead after being bowled out for 156.
Captain Neel was the star bowler for Chandigarh claiming 5 for 36. Chasing a 189-run target, Chandigarh suffered an early blow after opener Arnav Bansal was dismissed without scoring by Sayed in the third ball of the innings. Sayed grabbed his second dismissing Nikhil in the third over to have the visitors in trouble with two down for just three runs.
Aarush Bhandari (27) and Ishaan Gaba (17) managed to score some runs but the duo too departed leaving the visitors at 52/4.
Ivraj Ranauta (5 not out) and Paras (1 not out) remained unbeaten at the end of the day's play with much work to be done on the fourth and final day.

Arindam Basu