The Ranji rivalry of the east has ended in two days as Bengal has notched their second victory in this season by defeating Odisha by 133 runs in a low-scoring match at CAB’s Kalyani Cricket Academy on Tuesday, November 24. The result of the match has brought pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee under scanner as Odisha side said they will lodge a complaint against the wicket in BCCI.
The Odisha side have caved in front of rejuvenated Ashok Dinda who bundled out Odisha for 37 runs inside one season.
In a match which is dominated by bowlers Bengal pacer, Ashok Dinda has taken 7 wicktes conceding just 19 runs while Odisha were chasing 170 and Off spiner Pragyan Ojha has taken three clean up the Odisha, who scored one of the lowest totals in the history Ranji cricket.
On a lush green cricket field of Kalyani Bengal batting first tumbled for 142 in the first session of the first day. The pitch was difficult for batsmen to cope with. But, Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran scored 88 that proved handy in Bengal’s second victory of this season. In the last match, Bengal have defeated Vidarbha.
On the first day of the match, 20 wickets were tumbled as after Bengal folded up inside 142, and afterwards young pacer Amir Gani’s six-wicket haul floored Odisha in 107 that gave Bengal a 35 runs lead.
Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sayan Mandal commencing Bengal’s second innings have ended the day on 23. But, the collapse start after Easwaran was trapped lbw by Basant Mohanty. After his departure, two small resistances were shown by Sudip Chatterjee and Manoj Tiwary as Bengal all out for paltry 135.
Odisha Basant Mohanty has become the second Odisha bowler in the match to claim five wickets after Dhiraj Singh first innings fifer. Four Bengal batsmen have failed to open their account in comparison to first innings’ three.
For Odisha lower middle order batsman, Arbind Singh scored 21 and opener Ranjit Singh 20 in the first innings.
However, Odisha were needed 170 three and half days were left.
But, Ashok Dinda after a long time produced fiery spells on a springboard wicket of academy ground and wrecked havoc on Odisha side. None of the Odisha batsmen managed to cross the double digit. Arabind Singh scored 7, which was the highest score by an Odisha batsman.
Meanwhile, Odisha planned to file a complaint in BCCI as they are disappointed with the wicket. Captain Natraj Behera and secretary Asirbad Behera said they are filing an official complaint.
A fuming Odisha Cricket Association secretary said, “Is this the kind of wicket you prepare for first-class matches? What is the point of having a four-day match if you want to make an under-prepared wicket and get it over in one and half days.
“We’re extremely disappointed at the way they have prepared the wicket. We’ve already filed our complaint with the match referee and then sending a report to the BCCI’s grounds committee chairman Daljit Singh.” Skipper Natraj said, “Yes, our manager has filed an official complaint with the match referee (Shakti Singh). This was an absolutely dangerous pitch. Singh, who was also the match referee during another two-day finish this season, confirmed receiving a complaint from the Odisha team.
“Yes, Odisha have filed a complaint and I will forward it to the BCCI. I will also give my report. It is up to BCCI to decide,” Singh said. A dejected Natraj, on his part, termed the pitch “unplayable”. “Yesterday, it was literally unplayable and today when two Bengal batsmen (Sudeep Chatterjee and Aamir Gani) were hit on the helmet grill off deliveries that bounced awkwardly, a fear factor set in our boys. Our guy (Anurag Sarangi) was also hit on the grill. The boys were afraid to play on the front-foot.”
However, Bengal coach Sairaj Bahutule shot back at Odisha’s complain as he said that the pitch was same for both teams. “This was a pitch where the application was the key. We applied better than them. There has been far worse pitches that I can recall from my playing days. There is no point complaining about the strip,” said the Bengal coach and former Mumbai stalwart.
Lowest total by Odisha in Ranji cricket
35 v Bihar, Patna
37 v Bengal, Kalyani Cricket Academy
44 v Bihar, Jamshedpur
51 v Bengal, Kolkata
58 v Bengal, Cuttack