Toufik, Vaibhav spin Bengal to victory, TNCA XI enters semifinals despite loss

August 29, 2023 07:22 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST

Toufik Uddin Mondal (Bengal, 90 & 4/37)

Toufik Uddin Mondal (Bengal, 90 & 4/37) | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Vaibhav Yadav (Bengal, 5/63 & 3/43)

Vaibhav Yadav (Bengal, 5/63 & 3/43) | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Shashank Singh (Bengal, 68 & 59)

Shashank Singh (Bengal, 68 & 59) | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

TIRUNELVELI

Bengal coach Pranab Roy asked for TNCA XI coach Lakshmipathy Balaji to give a pep talk to his squad at the end of day’s play on Monday and Balaji obliged. The young squad was all ears to Balaji who delivered a strong dosage of motivation.

On Tuesday, Bengal seemed pumped up throughout as fine bowling efforts from off-spinner Toufik Uddin Mondal (four for 37) and left-arm spinner Vaibhav Yadav (three for 43) enabled it to bowl out TNCA XI for 138 in its second innings and clinch a morale-boosting 68-run win on day three of the Group-D match in the Buchi Babu All India invitational cricket tournament at the India Cement Company ground here.

Tamil Nadu’s Ch. Jitendra Kumar was absent hurt as he sustained a knee injury while fielding at long on in the first session of the day.

Despite the loss, TNCA XI has still qualified for the semifinals. Bengal coach Pranab Roy was satisfied that his team’s campaign has ended on a winning note.

He claimed that Bengal hadn’t had match practice for around four months because of the monsoon rains in West Bengal. The team seems to have only practised indoors. Subsequently, Bengal suffered a 126-run defeat versus Kerala in its first group match here.

Unlike TNCA XI that had a 9-day gap between its first match and this one, Bengal only had a three-day gap.

Earlier in the day, Toufik, who resumed from his overnight 52, got to 90 (80b, 7x4, 7x6) to help Bengal get to 241 and set TNCA a 207-run target.

Bengal’s 19-year-old Shashank Singh was adjudged the Player-of-the-Match for his 68 (115b, 4x4, 4x6) and 59 (84b, 8x4, 1x6) in the first and second innings.

The scores:

Group-D: Bengal 193 & 241 in 68.5 overs (Shashank Singh 59, Toufik Uddin Mondal 90, M. Siddharth 4/87) bt TNCA XI 228 & 138 in 46.1 overs (Toufik Uddin Mondal 4/37).

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