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Ranji Trophy Final: Bengal close gap on Saurashtra on day four; day five to be played in front on empty stands

Ranji Trophy Final: Bengal close on gap against Saurashtra on day four; day five to be played in front on empty stands

Rajkot, March 12: The first-innings lead is set to determine the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 winners as the fourth day's play of the Saurashtra versus Bengal final came to an end on Thursday (March 12) with Bengal trailing 71 runs behind.

DRS came to Wriddhiman Saha's rescue early on Day 4 after Bengal resumed the day's play on the overnight score of 134/3.

A Jaydev Unadkat delivery had struck Saha on the pads, but the TV umpire ruled that there was an edge before the ball hit the pads and Saha got a reprieve. A few balls later, Saha survived a run-out scare before hitting Unadkat for two successive fours to bring up Bengal's 150.

Sudip Chatterjee, who had walked out to bat in the first session on Day 3, meanwhile, completed his half-century after facing 154 deliveries.

The two - Chatterjee and Saha - continued to bat on as Bengal, who did not lose a wicket in the first two hours of Day 4, brought up their 200 in the 89th over.

Saha then went on to complete his fifty as Bengal moved to 218/3, scoring 84 runs in the opening session on the fourth day.

The pair of Chatterjee and Saha had joined forces on Wednesday and completed a hundred-run partnership, having faced 47.4 overs, soon after the play resumed in the second session.

However, Saurashtra managed to break the stand as Dharmendrasinh Jadeja ended Sudip Chatterjee's 430-minute vigil. The Bengal left-hander scored a gritty 81 off 241 deliveries.

Prerak Mankad dismissed Saha, who scored 64, soon after as Bengal lost two of their set batsmen in the space of 16 runs. Chetan Sakariya then struck on the stroke of the tea break as he disturbed the timber to get Shahbaz Ahmed out.

Bengal were 263/6 when Shahbaz got out and needed a partnership to keep alive their hopes and it was Majumdar, who once again came to his team's rescue.

Majumdar, who had scored hundreds in the quarterfinal and semi-final to power Bengal to the final, and Arnab Nandi put up an unbeaten 91-run stand, denying Saurashtra any more success before the close of play

While Majumdar remained unbeaten on 58, Nandi scored 28* to take Bengal to 354/6, trailing Saurashtra by 71 runs, at stumps on Day 4.

Day five of Ranji Trophy final to be played behind closed doors

The final day of the Ranji Trophy summit clash will be played without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI said on Thursday.

"No public will be allowed on the final day. Only the players, match officials and media are allowed," BCCI general manager Saba Karim, who is in charge of domestic cricket, told PTI.

The decision came after the Sports Ministry's advisory to all national federations to follow the Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.

The government's directive is unlikely to have a huge impact on the final day's proceedings with only a handful of spectators coming to watch the action on the previous four days. Bengal are aiming for their first title since 1989-90 while Saurashtra are eying their maiden trophy.

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Story first published: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 20:43 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 12, 2020
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