UP push Bengal into relegation zone

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Kolkata, Dec 19 (UNI) Bengal faces relegation from the elite group after being humiliated by Uttar Pradesh by an innings and 152 runs at the Eden Gardens here today.

Bengal were shot out for 193 in their second essay after being routed for 149 in their first in reply to Uttar Pradesh's mammoth total of 494 runs.

There is nothing much to talk about Bengal's batting other than the fact that with the exception of Anustup Majumdar (60) and skipper L R Shukla (41) none of the batsmen showed any application, resistance or capability to handle the UP bowling attack.

While left arm orthodox P Gupta ripped through the Bengal batting with his guile to take a five wicket haul, S Tyagi left Bengal clueless with his healthy medium pace.

The weakness that Bengal showed was in the mental make-up. They did not have the stomach, motivation or determination for a fightback. They trooped in and went back like a pack of defeated soldiers.

Equally ineffective was Bengal's attack as Uttar Pradesh piled up 104 runs for the seventh wicket with P Kumar hitting a swashbuckling 73 and A Khan a fine 46.

After the match, Bengal captain said, '' We will have to turn back the tide in our favour. We have to win the last match with a bonus. We have to see it. '' But perhaps the biggest loser from the tie is Manoj Tewari, whose show of 2 and 24 in two innings lacked the conviction of the last season. He might be chosen as the best U-22 player, but his chance of a ticket Down Under looked slimmer than ever before as he failed to deliver in this crunch game before the Chairman of National Selectors Dilip Vensarkar.

Asked about his chances, Vensarkar said, '' You saw how he performed. '' Equally bright was Suresh Raina's chance. A smart 63 and a livewire in the field, he looked good to be back in the big league.

Bengal has lost to Baroda, Orissa and UP, with only one win against Punjab.

They drew the tie against Hyderabad. They now play Andhra Pradesh.

Brief Scores: Bengal first innings 149 UP first innings 494 Bengal second innings (A Majumdar 60, L R Shukla 41, S Tyagi 4/38, P Gupta 5/11) UP win by and innings and 152 runs UNI

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