It was the turn of Gujarat to send Bengal on the leather hunt on the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite group ‘B' match at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.

Skipper Parthiv Patel and Priyank Panchal made full use of the docile pitch to help themselves to centuries and put their team firmly on the way to gaining the first innings lead.

Gujarat ended the day at 315 for two in which Parthiv contributed a highly disciplined and effective 143 while Panchal complemented his skipper with a fine 139.

The two added 284 runs for the opening wicket to lay a solid foundation from which Gujarat should be able to score the 246 runs needed to snatch the lead in 90 overs on the final day.

The two played with responsibility cutting out all risks and choosing the right ball to hit. Added to their comfort was Bengal's lack of discipline in bowling and tardy ground fielding.

Parthiv produced a gem of an innings. Having kept wickets for nearly two days of play and coming out to bat at the fag end of the second day, the diminutive opener showed no signs of tiredness. His chanceless knock spanned five hours and 11 minutes facing 202 balls. He hit 18 boundaries.

Panchal's innings lacked the fluency that Parthiv displayed but nonetheless was very effective. He clouted three sixes of the two spinners Sourasish Lahiri and Iresh Saxena; he also survived a dropped chance off Lahiri and his six off Saxena took him from 99 to 105.

As the day wore on, Bengal finally tasted successes after tea. First Parthiv was well taken by Parthasarathi Bhattacharya in the extra cover region off Lahiri while left-arm spinner Saxena gladly took a return catch offered by Panchal.

At close, Rikin Chauhan and Niraj Patel were batting on 13 and 6 respectively.

The two Bengal spinners were restrictive rather than penetrative as the pitch hardly helped them beat the bat. Bengal clearly lacked a plan to get the two openers out.

The scores: Bengal — 1{+s}{+t} innings: 560 for six declared.

Gujarat — 1st innings: Parthiv Patel c Bhattacharya b Lahiri 143, Priyank Panchal c & b Saxena 139, Rikin Chauhan (batting) 12, Niraj Patel (batting) 6; Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-10): 15; Total (for two in 96 overs): 315.

Fall of wickets: 1-284, 2-305.

Bengal bowling: Bose 13-2-49-0, Dinda 14-3-37-0, Saxena 33-5-97-1, Shukla 7-0-35-0, Lahiri 25-5-74-1, Tiwary 4-0-18-0.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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