Ranji Trophy 2017-18: Bengal virtually book a berth in quarters

[caption id="attachment_25879" align="alignnone" width="580"]Manoj Tiwary with Dinda 1 Ashoke Dinda being congratulated by Bengal captain Manoj Tiwari after the former picked his 25th five wicket haul in first class cricket at Eden Gardens.[/caption]

Kolkata: Bengal pace spearhead Ashok Dinda on Monday claimed his 25th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket to hand them a crucial first innings lead over Goa at Eden Gardens. With three points Bengal are now guaranteed a berth in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals from Group D.

A visibly satisfied Dinda after the day's play said, "It is an amazing feeling whenever I get 5 wickets in Ranji. It is the 25th time I have been able to secure a 5 wicket haul in a Ranji match. I agree that few catches have been dropped during the match but Bengal is a good fielding side. Everyone in the team has bowled according to their strengths and youngsters have to be given the opportunity and time to develop their skills and prove their mettle. Overall I am happy with my achievement and the team as a whole."

In reply to Bengal's 379, Goa were dismissed for 310 after resuming day three on 191 for five as Dinda added two more to his overnight tally en route to 5/79.

Left-arm seamer Kanishk Seth supported well with a careerbest 3/77 including two wickets in successive deliveries, while B Amit (2/69) cleaned up Felix Alemao to bundle out Goa in 105 overs in the second session.

Amogh Desai waged a lone battle with his unbeaten 103 from 264 balls (14x4), his sixth first-class century with his fine overnight partnership with Keenan Vaz (60).

The duo added 110 runs for the sixth wicket to frustrate Bengal in the first session but it was not enough.

At close on the penultimate day, Bengal were 108 for three in 25 overs with opener Abhimanyu Easwaran (20 batting) and first innings centurion Shreevats Goswami (15 batting) at crease, with an overall lead of 177 runs.

Unless Goa post a miraculous victory, the lead would ensure Bengal (20 points) three points to take them to 23 points to go beyond the reach of Punjab (15) even if they post a bonus point victory over Services in Amritsar.

Earlier, Desai was dropped on his overnight score of 53 but the frustration did not last long as Dinda provided the breakthrough -- Vaz -- after the drinks break in the first session.

It opened the gates for Bengal as leftarm seamer Kanishk Seth struck twice -- Amulya Pandrekar and Lakshay A Garg -- in consecutive deliveries

However, Garg would consider himself unlucky as the ball seemed to have missed the edge, but the umpire thought otherwise.

A rearguard action by Desai and Heramb Parab (29) who added 52 runs for ninth wicket raised their hopes but Dinda once again gave the breakthrough en route to his fifth five-for from 104 first-class matches.


Brief Scores

In Kolkata:Bengal 379 and 108/3; 25 overs.

Goa 310; 105 overs (Amogh Desai 103 not out, Keenan Vaz 60; Ashok Dinda 5/79, Kanishk Seth 3/77).

In Amritsar: Punjab 645/6 declared.

Services 315; 71.2 overs (Vikas Yadav 71, Diwesh Pathania 68, Rahul Singh 48, Vikas Hathwala 42; MS Gony 5/63) and f/o 118/3; 35 overs (Rahul Singh 47 batting).

In Nagpur: Himachal Pradesh 353 and 70/3; 20 overs.

Vidarbha 456; 134.4 overs (Faiz Fazal 206, Sanjay Ramaswamy 115, Wasim Jaffer 47; Rishi Dhawan 4/96).







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