Kolkata: Odisha created a big upset, defeating Bengal by seven wickets on the final day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match on Friday, with pace bowler Sunil Roul wrecking the hosts’ batting lineup by taking six wickets.
Though Bengal had secured a quarter-final berth in the previous round itself, the loss on Friday at the Eden Gardens ahead of the knockout round would have dampened their spirits somewhat.
Uttarakhand became the second team behind Bengal (32 points) to move into the quarter-finals after their match against Haryana ended in a draw. Uttarakhand earned three points, owing to their first-innings lead to take their tally to 29 points.
Bengal will take on Jharkhand in the first quarter-final, while Uttarakhand will play Karnataka on January 31.
Odisha first dismissed Bengal for 276 in 79 overs, thanks to 24-year-old Roul’s six-wicket haul. The visitors’ batters then returned for the second innings to quickly overhaul the 112-run winning target in the 23rd over.
Much of Bengal’s woes in the match were on account of their paltry first-innings score of 100 and they couldn’t recover from that, despite their opener Abhimanyu Easwaran making amends and scoring a century in the second innings.
Bengal’s second innings folded at 276 with Roul playing the role of wrecker-in-chief as he accounted for almost the entire top order, including the well-set Easwaran for 101 runs.
Easwaran, who was unbeaten at 94 overnight, added just five runs on the morning of the final day, while the other overnight batter, skipper Manoj Tiwary, was consumed by Basant Mohanty for the addition of just two runs to his Thursday’s score of 50.
With the two mainstays departing, Roul kept chipping away, dismissing wicketkeeper Abhishek Porel (38), Pritam Chakraborty (1) and Geet Puri (0), thus bringing an end to Bengal’s innings.
Odisha seemed in a hurry to complete the job with Sandeep Pattnaik (28 n.o.) and Rakesh Pattnaik (20 n.o.) scoring at a quick rate after opener Anurag Sarangi (37) had given them a confident start.
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