Bengal faced a devastating loss against Kerala in the Ranji Trophy 2024, significantly denting their chances of qualifying for the next round of the tournament. Chasing a daunting target of 448 runs in the fourth innings, Manoj Tiwary’s team was bundled out for 339 runs, succumbing to a defeat by 109 runs.
Despite the efforts of Shahbaz Ahmed, who made a remarkable comeback to Bengal’s Ranji side, and Abhimanyu Easwaran’s consistent performance with half-centuries in both innings, Bengal fell short against Kerala. Spinner Jalaj Saxena emerged as the star performer for Kerala, showcasing a phenomenal performance with a 13-wicket haul in the match.
In the first innings, Kerala posted a formidable total of 363 runs, propelled by centuries from Sachin Baby and Akshay Chandran. Bengal struggled in response, getting all-out for 180 runs as Jalaj Saxena wreaked havoc with a remarkable 9-wicket haul. Despite a strong bowling display, Kerala was restricted to 180 runs in their second innings.
Facing a challenging target of 448 runs, Bengal’s batting lineup faltered, unable to cope with Kerala’s bowling attack. While Easwaran contributed with 65 runs and Shahbaz Ahmed top-scored with 80, Bengal’s overall batting performance fell short. Kerala emerged victorious by 109 runs, with Jalaj Saxena once again playing a pivotal role by taking a four-wicket haul in the fourth innings.