Bengal annihilates Rajasthan, advances to semis

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Bengal humiliated Rajasthan by an innings and 62 runs here today to take all five points and set a semi-final date with Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy Elite league at Eden Gardens.

Overnight batsman Nikhil Doru went on to score a patient 103, while Rohit Jhalani could not add anything to his yesterday's 63 as he fell to Sourashis Lahiri at the start of the session.

Sumit Khatri (32) had to depart to some brilliant work in the field by Abhishek Jhunjhunwala. Skipper Ajay Jadeja (25 n.o.) came seven down and along with the centurion Doru managed to build up a decent partnership.

But Doru became Laxmi Ratan Shukla's 100th prey in first class cricket.

Shukla and in form Sourav Sarkar wrapped up the last two wickets to complete the formalities.

Heads were, however, turned when Ranadeb Bose did not bowl at all. Coach Paras Mhambrey, however, said it had got no connection with his non-inclusion in the Indian team yesterday.

'' He was suffering from slight sprain and we decided to give him some rest today as we have some important matches coming up, '' he said.

He seemed pleased with the performance of the bowlers, but said there was a lot to be desired in fielding. Asked about Ashok Dinda's failure to get wickets in the match, he said, ''Ashok might not have got wickets, but he did his job of restricting the batsmen.'' Skipper Deep Dasgupta seemed satisfied with his team's performance, but said they would have to be more consistent and should win crunch matches like finals and semi-finals and not let the choker's tag settle on them.

The team will take a couple of day's rest before regrouping for the semi-final against Karnataka. Karnataka will be without their top scorer Robin Uthappa who will be busy with international duty against the West Indies.

''When a team reach Ranji Trophy semi-finals, the team have to have quality, and if Robin (Uthappa) isn't there, there will be surely someone as good to replace him,'' Mhambrey said refusing to lower the guard.

Mhambrey also denied the fact that the team preferred away matches as the pressure was reduced.

''As long as you are playing, the pressure is always there, playing at home or away doesn't really matter,'' he said.

Brief Scores

Rajasthan 193 and 328( Nikhil Doru 103, Rohit Jhalani 63, Sumit Khatri 32, Ajay Jadeja 25 n o) lost to Bengal 583 for 6 (Manoj Tiwari 181, Sourav Ganguly 122) by an innings and 62 runs


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