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Saurashtra thrash Bengal, keep QF hopes alive

December 11, 2012 18:55 IST

Ravindra Jadeja finished with a match-haul of eight wickets as Saurashtra thrashed Bengal by 270 runs in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter in Rajkot and kept their chance of qualifying for the knock-out stage alive.

Chasing a massive target of 431 was out of the question as Bengal's innings terminated at 160 in only 55.4 overs at the fall of the ninth wicket.

Skipper Manoj Tiwary did not bat due to a severe back injury.

Jadeja picked four wickets for 50 runs in the second innings while veteran Nayan Doshi got three.

The six points from the match took Saurashtra's tally to 15 points. They are second in Group A.

Bengal remain on seven points and are placed seventh with two matches remaining.

One couldn't have expected a better all-round show from Jadeja, who scored 70 and 68 in both innings and had a match-haul of 8 for 98, which will certainly boost his confidence as he leaves for Nagpur to join his teammates for the fourth and final Test against England.

Starting the day at 65 for 3, it was a near-impossible task for the inept Bengal line-up which has faltered consistently during its away matches.

Left-handed opener Rohan Banerjee toiled for more than three hours to score 47, hitting only three fours in the process off the 149 balls that he faced. He added 57 runs with Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (25) for the fourth wicket.

Once Jhunjhunwala was bowled by Jadeja, playing to a wrong line, the others did not show any stomach for a fight.

Veteran Laxmi Ratan Shukla played a cameo as he blasted 35 runs off only 12 balls, with the help of four boundaries and three sixes. Although it was brief entertainment for his teammates, Shukla knew he had to throw caution to the wind as it was already a lost battle.

Finally, Doshi got him out, caught by Shitanshu Kotak as the brisk 39-run partnership for the fifth wicket ended in a jiffy.

For Bengal, with no Ashok Dinda or Tiwary in their final two matches, it will be a very difficult task to even survive in Group A with a batting line-up that doesn't have players who can consistently score in first-class cricket.

Brief Scores:

Saurashtra: 209 & 333-8 decl.

Bengal: 112 & 160 in 55.4 overs (target 431) (Rohan Banerjee 48, Ravindra Jadeja 4/50).

Saurashtra won by 270 runs.

Points: Saurashtra 6; Bengal 0.

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