The final day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2019/20 final between Bengal and Saurashtra in Rajkot is likely to be played in an empty stadium owing to growing concerns over coronavirus threat. Bengal are presently trailing by 71 runs after half-centuries from Anustup Majumdar and Wriddhiman Saha on day 4 of the clash. Saurashtra, however, need the final four wickets, to gain that first-innings lead.
"No public will be allowed on the final day. Only the players, match officials and media are allowed," BCCI general manager Saba Karim, who is in charge of domestic cricket, told PTI.
Anustup put on another inspiring show to hold fort on the fourth day and keep Bengal in the hunt for the all-important first innings lead in the final of the Ranji Trophy encounter against Saurashtra. Majumdar followed on the footsteps of Sudip Chatterjee (81) and Saha (64) to hit a resilient unbeaten 58 off 134 balls with Arnab Nandi (28 off 82 balls) as Bengal ended the day on 354/6, trailing by 71 runs with four wickets in the bag.
Saha and Chatterjee started on an overnight total of 134/4 and the pair saw Bengal through to Lunch. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja finally gave Saurashtra the breakthrough in the eighth over of the second session as Chatterjee got an inside edge which went to the pad and then to the fielder at short leg. He had faced 241 balls during his stay in the middle.
Eight overs later, Saha fell to Prerak Mankad and Saurashtra finally had two new batsmen at the crease. Shahbaz Ahmed failed to rise to the challenge and fell to Chetan Sakariya an over before Tea and Saurasthrra went into the break smelling a first innings lead.
But Majumdar and Nandi shut the door on Saurashtra after that and saw Bengal through to Stumps. The pair have put up 91 runs for the sixth wicket and have been constantly egged on by the Bengal dressing room.
Earlier in the evening, media reports claim that the last two ODIs - in Lucknow and Kolkata - of the India-South Africa series might be played in closed doors. So will be the impending IPL 2020, although the Ministry of External Affairs is against the league being staged.