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Rajkot, March 12, 2020
Anustup Majumdar put on another inspiring show to hold fort on the fourth day and keep Bengal in the hunt for the all-important first innings lead in the final of the Ranji Trophy encounter against Saurashtra.
Majumdar followed in the footsteps of Sudip Chatterjee (81) and Wriddhiman Saha (64) to hit a resilient unbeaten 58 off 134 balls with Arnab Nandi (28 off 82 balls) as Bengal ended the day on 354/6, trailing by 71 runs with four wickets in the bag.
Saha and Chatterjee started on an overnight total of 134/4 and the pair saw Bengal through to lunch. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja finally gave Saurashtra the breakthrough in the eighth over of the second session as Chatterjee got an inside edge which went to the pad and then to the fielder at short leg. He had faced 241 balls during his stay in the middle.
Eight overs later, Saha fell to Prerak Mankad and Saurashtra finally had two new batsmen at the crease. Shahbaz Ahmed failed to rise to the challenge and fell to Chetan Sakariya an over before tea and Saurasthrra went into the break smelling a first innings lead.
But Majumdar and Nandi shut the door on Saurashtra after that and saw Bengal through to stumps. The pair have put up 91 runs for the sixth wicket and have been constantly egged on by the Bengal dressing room.
The fifth and final day of the match will be behind closed doors tomorrow amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) general manager Saba Karim confirmed to IANS that no spectators will be allowed in the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
The Government had earlier in the day advised the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), all National Sports Federations (NSFs) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to adhere to advisories issued by the Ministry of Health.
"You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event, the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing gathering of people, including spectators," the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said in the advisory.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 425 (Arpit Vasavda 106, Cheteshwar Pujara 66; Akash Deep 4/98) vs Bengal 354/6 (Sudip Chatterjee 81, Wriddhiman Saha 64; Prerak Mankad 2/45)