Kolkata, Dec 9: A formidable Tamil Nadu side showed a lot of professionalism as they convincingly wallopped Bengal by 10 wickets in an Elite Group B match of the Ranji Trophy that concluded at the Eden Gardens today.
Tamil Nadu with 14 points from four games are now on top of Group B and are likely to qualify for the knock-out stages without much fuss.
Bengal are languishing at the bottom of the table and will find it extremely difficult to beat the drop as they now take on Delhi at home and Baroda in an away match.
Resuming the final day at 163 for four, Bengal were all out for 246 in their second innings leaving Tamil Nadu with a target of 32.
Abhinav Mukund (25 not out) and Murali Vijay (9 nout out) scored the runs without fuss as veteran seamer Ranadeb Bose was smashed for five boundaries in only 2.3 overs. Having let off Tamil Nadu, who were reeling at 140 for five to let them score 391 became the turning point of this match.
Much like the first innings in which they had collapsed for 176, Bengal in their second innings could not live up to the challenge lasting little more than 25 overs this morning. Bengal, laid out a greentop Eden to exploit the home advantage, but their batting line-up never had the technique or resolve to make a match on a wicket where there is a touch more bounce.
Former skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (73 from 86 balls; 11x4, 2x6) stood tall amidst ruins with his second half-century in the match, that helped the hosts avoid an innings defeat but it was not enough to deny the visitors a bonus point victory.
Senior-most pro Ganguly was the first to go this morning, when the left-hander could not fend off a rising Laxmipathy Balaji delivery but only to be caught at slip cordon. The former India captain managed to add five runs to his overnight score of 28.
After Ganguly's 87-run fifth wicket partnership with Shukla was broken, it was just a matter of time for the Bengal second innings to fold.
Readmitted to hospital, Rohan Banerjee, who was hit in the lower abdomen while fielding, could not bat, adding to Bengal's misery.
Yomahesh claimed thee for 67 in the second innings for a seven-wicket haul in the match, while the veteran Balaji gave a fine support with a tidy two for 40.
Tamil Nadu 391 and 34 for no loss bt Bengal 176 and 246 (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 73, Sourav Ganguly 33; Yomahesh 3/67) by 10 wickets. Tamil Nadu 6 points. Bengal 0.