Kerala win crucial Ranji Trophy play against Bengal

Trivandrum, Feb 12 (UNI) Kerala stumped their prowess in the very crucial Ranji Trophy play defeating Bengal, whose batsmen put up a spirited performance before going down by 109 runs in their Elite Group B match at the St. Xavier’s College Ground here on Monday.

Chasing a mammoth 449-run target, last season’s runners-up didn’t give up but displayed a brave batting show on the fourth and final day before being bowled out for 339 in their second innings.

Making a return to the team, all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed impressed with the bat, scoring a fighting 80 off 100 balls. Abhimanyu Easwaran (65), Karan Lal (40), and skipper Manoj Tiwary (35) also stepped up, but the target was too tall a task for the visitors.

For Kerala, Jalaj Saxena (4-104) was once again superb with the ball, bagging a brilliant 13-wicket haul in the match after his first-innings display of 9 for 68.

Earlier, Bengal managed to post 180 in their first innings, in reply to Kerala’s total of 363.

While Kerala, in their second innings, scored 265/6 declared. to hand a massive target to the visitors, Bengal, currently with 12 points from 6 games,having won one and lost two, will next take on Bihar at home in their final match of the campaign starting on Friday.

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