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Bengal register facile win against UP

16th December 2022
In an audacious display of vintage cricket an injured Anustup Majumdar and captain class Manoj Tiwary handed Bengal a six wicket victory against Uttar Pradesh in their first Elite Group A Ranji Trophy tie at Eden.
Following the victory, CAB President Snehasish Ganguly lauded the team for the brilliant comeback. "This is a classic Ranji Trophy match. After the chips were down, Bengal showed the fightback and in the end it was easy. Anustup, Manoj and Koushik were brilliant. Even Akash Deep's late slog in the first innings was crucial. The bowlers also bowled exceptionally well.
I am very happy with the way Ishan Porel has made his comeback. I need to mention Pritam also bowled brilliantly in the first innings coming back into the team after a gap. Similarly, Akash Deep bowled brilliantly in the second innings. But this is just the beginning and we have a long way to go. I wish the team all the best and hope they will keep the momentum going into the next matches," he said.
In a seesaw battle that saw Uttar Pradesh winning the fourth session on the first two days, Bengal showed resilience and steel jawed counteracttacking mentality to seize initiative when it mattered. Finishing the third day at 156 for 2 with Koushik Ghosh (69) and Anustup (44) on the crease Bengal began the day losing the former who was bowled in the third delivery of the day by Ankit Rajpoot. Bengal took the six wicket win finishing the second innings at 259 for 4 chasing the target of 257 set by Uttar Pradesh.
There after it was a one sided affair as both Anustup and Manoj came together to put on an partnership of 97 runs to help Bengal motor home with half a day to spare. While Anustup was a picture of concentration weeding out the mistakes of first innings with discipline and grittiness, Manoj showed why he was still the most dependable in the Bengal top order as he made Uttar Pradesh bowling look mediocre with his selective aggression.
Anustup's 83, was studded with 10 boundaries and stretching 170 balls. With four runs left he went for the spectacular to be sadly caught at short mid-on.
After his departure Shahbaz joined hands with Manoj and ensured a smooth victory. Earlier, Koushik Ghosh made ammends for his loose first innings batting with a fine 69 off 124 balls that was studded with 10 boundaries. The bowlers also deserve special mention with Ishan Porel's match figures of seven wickets helping him with the MoM award.
"I am very happy with the victory. From the first day, we had the confidence in ourselves to win the match and begin the tournament on a high. It was a fine performance from all the players, especially Manoj and Anushtup. Now I hope we will take this momentum forward in the matches ahead," Bengal head coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla said after the win.
"It was not at all an easy wicket to bat on. We had to apply ourselves to chase down the target. Anushtup batted superbly alongside Ishan who gave his all with the ball. I am also happy to get runs under my belt. This win will surely give us a lot of confidence going into the next couple of matches," Skipper Manoj Tiwary said after the victory.
The bowlers deserve special mention as they rounded off Uttar Pradesh twice within scores that could be chased. All the bowlers were among wickets and backed each other to keep Uttar Pradesh batting under check.
Bengal notched vital 6 points with an outright victory.

Arindam Basu