Railways to lock horns with Bengal

Published: Monday, January 9, 2006, 0:00 [IST]
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Kolkata:It will be a tale of two sides seeking to realise contrasting goals as Bengal and title holders Railways clash in their concluding four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match here tomorrow.

While the hosts battle for a place in the last four, the Railwaymen are struggling to stave off relegation to the plate division.

Having played six matches, Bengal are on nine points, while the Railways languish at the bottom of the eight-team table with a mere four points.

Both the combatants failed to find their bearings in their previous match. Railways conceded a vital first innings lead to Maharashtra and Bengal crashed to a 222-run lossagainst Tamil Nadu.

However, the contest at the Eden Gardens is likely to be intense, as both sides are in a 'do or die' situation to achieve their respective missions. Both need to pick up the maximum points and then hope their close rivals goof-up in other parts of the country.

After their heady success last year, the steep fall of the railwaymen in the ongoing edition of the high-profile tournament has come as a bit of a surprise.

Batting blues and some unfavourable umpiring decisions in earlier matches have been cited as the reasons for the derailment of their efforts by the visiting team management.

Bengal, on the other hand, are eyeing a coveted place in the semis, and if they succeed, it would be a first for them ever since the bifurcation of the Ranji into the elite and plate divisions.

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