Lahli: It was another Ranji Trophy match at Bansi Lal Stadium that turned out to be farcical contest as Baroda beat Bengal by 21 runs with 40 wickets falling well inside two days.
Baroda went home happy defending a target of 155 as Bengal were all out for 133 in their second innings. This was after Baroda also scored an identical 133 in their second essay. Ironically, the difference of 21 runs in the first innings turned out to be the turning point for Baroda.
In the end, Manoj Tiwary’s words turned out to be prophetic as he had clearly stated that any target above 120 will not be practically chaseable on a track where the contest is heavily loaded in favour of bowlers.
Young seamer Atit Seth (10/94) would remember this match for his performance but will certainly not be an indicator of his capabilities in conditions loaded in favour of bowlers. With six inch grass at three quarter length and damp patches made the life hell for the batsmen. The highest score in the entire match was Tiwary’s 39 in the second innings. In fact, he hit six fours in 48 balls before an incutter from Sagar Manglorkar did him in.
He had added 54 runs for 5th wicket with Pankaj Shaw (16) but once Tiwary was gone, hopes of victory evaporated as the pitch also proved that Bengal’s batting is yet to get ready for challenges in adverse circumstances. The defeat dented Bengal’s chances of qualification for knock outs as they are placed fifth now with 16 points.
The 6 points helped Baroda climb to seventh position as of now with other matches still on.
Brief Scores: Baroda 97 and 133 (Mukesh Kumar 5/45) Bengal 76 and 133 (Manoj Tiwary 39)
Points: Bengal 0; Baroda 6.