An unbeaten century from Anustup Majumdar pushed Bengal to a respectable score against Karnataka in the second semi-final of the 2019-20 Ranji season. Abhimanyu Mithun led the way for Karnataka with three wickets, while Prasidh Krishna, Ronit More, and Krishnappa Gowtham bagged two each.
Cometh the hour, cometh the champion is an old adage that is befitting of the Bengal’s No.5 (today No.6). After failing to convert starts all through the group stage — once falling on 99 even — the right-hander has come to the fore in the knockout phase — and how! Just like the quarter-finals against Odisha, Bengal were in a massive hole when he walked into the crease. And just like that day in Cuttack, Majumdar emerged a hero walking back into the dressing room at stumps with a proud look on his face.
Karnataka won a crucial toss at the Eden Gardens and chose well, putting the hosts in first. And their three-man pace attack made the most of the movement on offer in the first session, reducing Bengal to 67 for six at one stage. But the visitors failed to kill off the home side who were already looking dead and buried. Just like the previous round, Majumdar found Shahbaz Ahmed for the company and began reviving the innings with a 72-run stand.
Mithun cleaned up the all-rounder for 35 but Akash Deep carried on his work. Majumdar flourished at the other end, hitting 18 fours and a six en route another century, while Deep fell six short of a half-century. His entertaining knock included three each of fours and sixes. Karnataka edged ahead with two more late wickets and with the deck seemingly losing its bite, Bengal’s 275 for nine from the first day looks a below-par total.
Brief scores: Bengal 275/9 in 82 overs (Anustup Majumdar 120*; Akash Deep 44; Abhimanyu Mithun 3-65) vs Karnataka.