Weather spoiled two sessions out of three on the final day of play between Odisha and Bengal in the second quarter-final at Cuttack but ensured a semi-final berth for the visitors. Anustup Majumdar was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant 157 which rescued Bengal’s first innings.
Resuming at 361 for seven in their second innings, with a lead of 443 to their name, Bengal were bowled out six overs and 12 runs later. Shahbaz Ahmed once again fell short of his century — this time by 36 runs. Bengal’s wickets were split between a three-fer from Govinda Poddar, two wickets apiece from Suryakant Pradhan, Debabrata Pradhan, and Anurag Sarangi, and one for Kanwar Singh Chohan.
The hosts came out to bat with a mammoth and almost-impossible chase of 455 on their hands. However, merely 10 overs in, the weather gods decided to interrupt proceedings. Bad light stopped play with Odisha 39 for no loss, eventually forcing the captains to settle for a draw ending Odisha’s run in the 2019-20 Ranji season.
As for Bengal, they will face Karnataka in the second semi-final on their home ground, the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, as they bid for a third Ranji title.
Brief scores: Bengal 332 all-out in 96.5 overs (Anustup Majumdar 157; Basant Mohanty 4-53) & 373 all-out in 138 overs (Shreevats Goswami 78; Govinda Poddar 3-95) drew against Odisha 250 all-out (Debasish Samantray 68; Nilkantha Das 3-31) & 39/0 in 10 overs (Anurag Sarangi 24*).