Cricket

Wriddhiman Saha guides Bengal home past Punjab

Controlled aggression: Wriddhiman Saha played a stellar innings to take Bengal past Punjab. Photo: S. Subramanium

Controlled aggression: Wriddhiman Saha played a stellar innings to take Bengal past Punjab. Photo: S. Subramanium   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Subramanium

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Wriddhiman Saha does not believe in leaving a job unfinished.

He demonstrated it with consistency in the Duleep Trophy which East Zone won recently.

He was on the job on Saturday too as Bengal, riding on his unbeaten 53, defeated Punjab by three wickets and 13 balls to spare in the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Palam ground here.

Indisciplined batting

Electing to bat, indisciplined batting left Punjab struggling at 34 for five but the latter half contributed 171 runs with Mandeep Singh (66 off 110 balls, six 4s) and Bipul Sharma (59 off 79 balls, six 4s, one 6) coming up with face saving sixth-wicket stand of 104 runs.

Bengal almost fell into the trap on the slow pitch.

The ball increasingly stayed low and stopped too but Saha was in exemplary form.

Well planned

“I take every match as a different assignment. This was one of my better innings on a difficult pitch. I thought

“I planned my innings well,' said Saha, who made is 53 off 71 balls with three fours.

Shreevats Goswami (30 off 72 balls) batted with patience but fell at a crucial stage after skipper Sourav Ganguly, who played fluently for his 28 with two fours and a six over point.

As Bengal appeared to lose direction, Debabrata Das (23 off 32 balls) and Mohammad Shami (22 off seven balls) ensured there were no alarms. After three crisp boundaries, Shami smashed a six over long-off to sign off in style.

Bengal coach W. V. Raman observed, “You can never feel safe on such a pitch but Bengal is a lot better in this format.”

The scores:

Punjab: Manish Bhatia b Nandi 14, Chandan Madan c Saxena b Sarkar 0, Gurkeerat Singh b Sarkar 0, Mandeep Singh c Nandi b Shukla 66, Amitoze Singh b Nandi 0, Taruwar Kohli lbw b Ganguly 2, Bipul Sharma c Saha b Shami 59, Harbhajan Singh (not out) 39, Vinay Chaudhary (run out) 8, Manpreet Gony (not out) 3, Extras (b-8, lb-3, w-3) 14, Total (for eight wkts in 50 movers) 205.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-1, 3-21, 4-22, 5-34, 6-138, 7-157, 8-194.

Bengal bowling: Mohammad Shami 10-0-44-1, Saurav Sarkar 7-1-24-2, Arnab Nandi 8-0-40-2, Sourav Ganguly 5-0-18-1, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 10-0-40-1, Iresh Saxena 10-1-28-0.

Bengal: Jayojit Basu c Madan b Rajwinder 7, Shreevats Goswami c Madan b Rajwinder 30, Sourav Ganguly b Chaudhary 28, Anustup Majumdar c Kohli b Rajwinder 19, Wriddhiman Saha (not out) 53, Laxmi Ratan Shukla c Amitoze b Bipul 11, Debabrata Das c Madan b Harbhajan 27, Arnab Nandi c Bipul b Chaudhary 1, Mohammad Shami (not out) 22, Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-4) 10, Total (for seven wkts in 47.5 overs) 208.

Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-56, 3-86, 4-98, 5-111, 6-162, 7-181.

Punjab bowling: Gony 6-1-25-0, Amitoze 3-0-12-0, Rajwinder Singh 9-0-19-3, Harbhajan Singh 10-1-28-1, Mandeep Singh 1-0-5-0, Vinay Chaudhary 9.5-0-53-2, Bipul Sharma 9-0-62-1.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:31:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/wriddhiman-saha-guides-bengal-home-past-punjab/article2982430.ece

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