Andhra Pradesh's Cricket triumph ousted Bengal from Elite group

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Kolkata, Dec 27 (UNI) Bengal were relegated to the plate division of the Ranji Trophy ever since the inception of the Elite and plate group, losing by 101 runs to Andhra Pradesh at the Eden Gardens today, perhaps the gloomiest day for cricket in the state.

Chasing 214 runs for victory, Bengal were humiliated by the Andhra Pradesh bowlers, who dismissing the hosts within 30 overs for 112 in their second innings to set up an emphatic victory.

Bengal's batting continued to crumble like worn out cookies as none other than Manoj Tewari (35) and captain L R Shukla (39) reaching double figuers.

Y Ganewshwara Rao and P Vijay Kumar took five wickets a piece to make the kill smooth and clinical.

Earlier, Andhra were dismissed for 190 in their second innings with MSK Prasad hitting a brilliant 54 embolding Andhra's chance of a victory.

R Bose bowled his heart out with seven wickets in the second eassay, but that was not good enough as the Bengal batters did not join the party.

A dejected Bengal coach Bharat Arun said, ''we just could not bat in the last six innings. It has gone into the psyche that we are not batting well and that has made them play even more poorly.'' Shukla groped for an excuse. ''What can i say. We did not apply ouirselves,'' he said.

While Joint Secretary Samar Pal was nowhere near the club house, his colleague Amitabha Banerjee said, ''we will look into the matter.'' CAB President Prasun mukherjee is in Australia to honour Sourav Ganguly.

In the first innings Bengal were shot out for 98 in reply to Andhra's 121.

UNI

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