Mohanty bowls Orissa to maiden victory over Bengal

The Orissa team gave their state a very happy New Year's gift by scoring a 129- run victory over Bengal in the East Zone Ranji Trophy tie at the Eden Gardens on Sunday

Sakyasen Mittra
The Orissa team gave their state a very happy New Year's gift by scoring a 129- run victory over Bengal in the East Zone Ranji Trophy tie at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. The emphatic manner in which the cricketers from Utkal dominated the game was hard to believe. Undoubtedly, the man of the match was the former Indian seam bowler Debashis Mohanty. He took five wickets in the second innings to take his match tally to 11, the first time that he had taken 10 or more wickets in a first class game. Incidentally this is the first time that Orissa have managed to defeat Bengal in 43 years of first class cricket.
The issue was wide open on Saturday as Sourav Ganguly was still at the crease. But Mohanty had reserved one of the best deliveries for him. The ball that had the Indian captain could have done the same to any other batsmen. It pitched just outside the off-stump, bounced and moved off the seam late. Ganguly desperately tried to remove himself from the line of the delivery but could only glove it to wicket-keeper Gautam Gopal. Earlier, Mohanty had removed night watchman Sourashis Lahiri and then had dismissed the Bengal skipper Devang Gandhi with successive deliveries. However, Gandhi could have left the ball alone. He tried to play it down and managed only to glove it for the second catch of the day to Gautam Gopal.
An early lunch for Bengal was on the cards as Rohan Gavaskar was caught and bowled by Ajay Barik who had replaced Mohanty after the latter had bowled unchanged for two hours from the club house end. Gavaskar hit him for two lovely drives through the covers. However, the moment Barik went round the wicket and altered the line, Gavaskar was found wanting. He played well across to a ball trying to flick it through mid wicket. The ball caught the leading edge and lobbed back for a simple catch to the bowler. Srikkant Kalyani then was trapped plumb in front by P.Jayachandran as he shuffled too far across the stumps.
Bengal finally managed to give some respectability to the score because of a ninth wicket stand between Deep Dasgupta and Utpal Chatterjee. The two added 99 runs for the ninth wicket taking the score over the 250 mark. However, the job for the two became comparatively easy as the Orissa spinners were operating. Both played freely and demonstrated to their predecessors that there was nothing in the pitch. Chatterjee scored 53 with seven boundaries. He was particularly severe on off spinner S.Satpathy, repeatedly cutting him to the point fence. Dasgupta also looked quite solid in his 39. He was out to a dubious caught behind decision. Two balls later the match was over as Jayachandra had uprooted the stumps of the last batsman Shiv Shankar Paul.
Orissa now have 21 points from three matches while Bengal have 13. The latter will at least need a minimum of five points to have a safe passage into the knockout stage. Assam have 16 points from two matches, while Bihar have eight from three.