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Bengal snatch thrilling win against Punjab
23rd October 2016
The bowlers gave their hearts out, as Bengal carved out a thrilling victory on the last day of a Group A Ranji Trophy match against Punjab at Luhnu Cricket Ground in Bilaspur. Punjab bowled out for 244 within 72.3 overs, chasing Bengal’s 359 lead in the second innings.
Resuming on the overnight score of 186 for 5, Bengal lost wickets at regular interval before being shot out at 226 in 64.5 overs. The only batsman fought back was skipper Manoj Tiwari (92) before being trapped by Sandeep Sharma stretching Bengal's lead to 359.
Thereafter, M Vohra (75) and J Singh (44) gave Punjab a fighting start. But Singh's wicket opened the floodgates. The Bengal bowlers took absolute control over the match and pushed the opposition on the back foot, bowling them all out to seal the fate of the match.
Among the bowlers, Pragyan Ojha stole the show with 4 for 70. He was backed by Amit Kulia 3/93 and Ashok Dinda 2/59.
"The bowlers bowled really intelligently and stuck to their task. We had certain plans and it worked out perfectly. Pragyan Ojha bowled well. It was not easy to bowl out a team like Punjab twice, but we did it. Happy with the result," said Manoj Tiwary.
"The boys played extremely well. Manoj lead the team from the front. His 92 was very important for us, unlucky, he missed out a hundred," said Bengal coach Sairaj Bahutule adding, "Pragyan Ojha bowled with craft and read the wicket very well. His role was also very crucial for the win today."
With the win Bengal climbed up the league table to the third spot, while Punjab slipped down to 6th. Bengal will play their next match against Railways in Dharamsala starting October 27.

Sayan Banerjee