Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Ishan’s rebirth, Pritam’s comeback, Koushik’s fight and Anustup-Manoj’s partnership make everyone say “Joi Bangla”

Read the full match report of Bengal's first match against UP with interviews of Ishan Porel, Pritam Chakraborty, Koushik Ghosh and Anustup Majumdar.

Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Ishan’s rebirth, Pritam’s comeback, Koushik’s fight and Anustup-Manoj’s partnership make everyone say “Joi Bangla”

Read the full match report of Bengal's first match against UP with interviews of Ishan Porel, Pritam Chakraborty, Koushik Ghosh and Anustup Majumdar.
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Bengal has been doing quite well in the last three-four seasons in the premier domestic cricket league in India; Ranji Trophy. But, the vibe at the Eden Gardens in the first match of Ranji Trophy 2022-23 was quite different. Current Bengal coach and former captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla seemed to have kindled a fire within the team that did not have their captain Abhimanyu Easwaran and pace-head Mukesh Kumar.

Captain Manoj Tiwary, coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ansutup Majumdar and Ishan Porel strike a pose after winning the first match of the Ranji Trophy 2022-23 season | Sportz Point
Captain Manoj Tiwary, coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ansutup Majumdar and Ishan Porel strike a pose after winning the first match of Ranji Trophy 2022-23 season.

“Joi Bangla” they said at every hurdle and that seemed to resonate with the fans present every afternoon of the last four days. A deficit in the first inning did not seem to bother the Bengal team that much, as they had their belief that it is quite tough to beat them at home. With each member speaking about the team unity and strength, it was a quick and accurate Ishan Porel who managed to grasp all the spotlight after making a comeback in the Bengal Ranji team after some illness.

“It feels great to start the season like this:” Ishan Porel

“It always feels special contributing to any team’s success, be it a club team, state team or any other team I am playing for. I always had belief in myself. Yes, there was outside noise and I tried to ignore it as much as I can,” Ishan told Sportz Point after getting adjudged as the player of the match for his 7 wickets in the first match of Ranji Trophy 2022-23.

“Life always has been a setback for me. But, I know how to battle through those tough times and come back. The club matches helped me get back in full rhythm. The long spells I bowled helped me regain full confidence after the illness,” Ishan added.

“The first session was a bit bubbly for me as I was a little excited. But, as I kept on bowling I started feeling more comfortable. Eden Gardens always have been a lucky ground for me till now. So, yeah, it feels great to start the season like this.”

In addition, Ishan is also mindful of the fact that 30 runs in lower order can be very handy in these conditions. So, he is working hard with coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla to have more control over his batting.

Pritam Chakraborty’s comeback after seven years in Ranji Trophy 2022-23

Talking about comebacks, two men were making their comeback into the Bengal Ranji team after quite a long time. Pritam Chakraborty was making his first-class return after 7 years and Koushik Ghosh made a comeback in the playing eleven after the 2019-20 season.

Pritam was outstanding with his first spell against the UP batters. Chakraborty got Aanjaneya Suryavanshi out in the first over of his spell and did not look back in the match again. Pritam finished the first inning with 3/63 and registered his best first-class bowling figure.

“It feels extremely special to make a comeback after so long and help the team win in the first match. It is a great start to the season and I hope to continue that,” Pritam told Sportz Point after the match. Interestingly, he did not even know one night before the match that the will be playing the match against Uttar Pradesh in Ranji Trophy 2022-23.

Read Also: Bengal Cricket: East Bengal forms a new team; hoping to continue to the trophy run says Sayan Shekhar Mondal

Not only with the ball in hand, Pritam was asked to do the job with the bat in the first inning as a night watchman. Pritam was sent in with 35 minutes to go in the first day of the match and handled himself well to not to get out. “Yes, that was a plan from the team management to sent me in as a night watchman. It is not that I can not bat, I am happy that I could do the job what was asked from me,” Pritam added.

“Getting six points was the only thing in my mind:” Koushik Ghosh

Meanwhile, Koushik Ghosh needed to score and save the team in the second inning after the failure of first inning. Koushik made sure he bats the rest of the Day 3 after Bengal bowlers bundled out UP for 227. The partnership of Koushik and Anustup confirmed that Bengal will have the upper hand going into Day 4. Unfortunately, Ghosh could not add any to his overnight score of 69 as he dragged one ball from Ankit Rajpoot to his off stump.

“It was about gaining the full six points. Earlier we had chased 320 against Rajasthan and I had contributions to that chase as well. The talk between me and Ruku da (Anustup Majumdar) was to make the game shorter and we were successful in that,” Ghosh told Sportz Point.

The vital partnership of Anustup and Manoj | Ranji Trophy 2022-23

But, the men of the Day 4 were the veteran Manoj Tiwary and Anustup Majumdar. The 97-run partnership between the experienced batters took Bengal home. Anustup was caught out by a Rinku Singh delivery after completing his 4000 first class run. However, Manoj Tiwary remained not out on 60 after scoring his 40th first class fifty.

Read Also: Bengal Cricket: Mohun Bagan Athletic Club becomes the first team to sign a professional contract with cricketers in Bengal

“The responsibility of me and Koushik’s was to play out the difficult times of the Day 3. Koushik batted superbly. Then, Manoj and I planned to no get out which worked well for us. Very happy with the win and with my contributions,” Anustup Majumdar told Sportz Point after getting past another milestone in Ranji Trophy 2022-23.

“Me and Manoj have a responsibility to help the team win. We have had many great partnerships thouhout the years, but this was special as it helped the team win. Manoj led the team well as well. So, overall everything went well for us,” Majumdar added.

“Seeing my father and son at the stand makes it more special”: Anustup Majumdar

Anustup Majumdar and his son strike a pose for the camera after the match. | Sportz Point
Anustup Majumdar and his son strike a pose for the camera after the match. Image: CAB

The event was more special for Anustup as his father and son were present at the stands to see him win it for Bengal. “Obviously, it feels special seeing them in the stands. My father does not come that often to see me play. This was the first time my son came to the ground to see me play and winning makes it more special.”

Bengal’s next match will be at Eden Gardens from 20th December against Himachal Pradesh.

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