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Left Railways job to play for Bengal, says centurion Anustup Majumdar

Anustup Majumbar scored an unbeaten 120 to steer Bengal out of trouble on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka.

PTI PTI
Kolkata Published on: February 29, 2020 20:22 IST
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Anustup Majumbar scored an unbeaten 120 to steer Bengal out of trouble on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka.

Bengal's saviour in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal and semifinal, Anustup Majumdar had left a secured Indian Railways job to play cricket for his home state, and says he is not short of motivation at 35.

Despite not playing all the matches this season, the batsman has been instrumental in Bengal's march into the semifinals.

On Saturday, he scored an unbeaten 120, his second century on the trot, to lift Bengal to 275 for nine from a precarious 67 for six in their semifinal against a star-studded Karnataka.

"You never know what is in store for you tomorrow. I left my job to play cricket. I never thought of quitting cricket," Majumdar said after his knock.

Majumdar left Railways in 2016 following a string of inconsistent outings for his employers.

In the ongoing season, Majumdar scored two half-centuries -- 99 and 59 -- in crunch games against Delhi and Hyderabad.

"Cricket is a game of uncertainty. It takes one ball to get you out. I just kept working hard, kept motivating myself. There was no other motivation. 

"Maybe I've matured now and the sense of grief and frustration have lessened," the team's senior-most member said.

Majumdar stitched two fruitful partnership lower down the order, adding 72 runs with Shahbaz Ahmed, which was followed by an entertaining 103-stand with Akash Deep (44).

He gave credit to Shahbaz for his support.

"When I was inside the dressing room, I was making a plan for each bowler and assessing their line and lengths. It helped, but the real success came after Shahbaz came in.

"The match opened up after he came to bat. He struck some exquisite boundaries against good balls and my game also became easy.

"His innings gave me confidence that even I could play my shots. We started playing attacking game. It became the turning point for us."

He hailed speedster Akash Deep who smashed three sixes and three boundaries off spinner K Gowtham.

"Akash changed the complexion of the match with his attacking innings, something that would have taken Karnataka by surprise.

"They would have never thought we would put together a century-plus stand for the ninth wicket. He played fearless cricket. If our bowlers do well, this would be the turning point," Majumdar said.

Karnataka pace spearhead Abhimany Mithun defended their strategy to play only four bowlers, as KL Rahul was included at the expense of left-arm orthodox spinner J Suchith.

"Coach wanted to play an extra batsman. If tomorrow we can bat well and take a lead, we can take it from there," Mithun said.

"After lunch the wicket got better. We tried our best. But still there are four days left. If we can get a good lead we will have a chance to bowl them out."

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