Mysore: An innings that seemed set for a post-lunch dessert, lost its sheen in the last session. Bengal was seemingly cruising through a 172-run third-wicket partnership between centurion Rohan Banerjee and skipper Manoj Tiwary but lost three wickets in the last session.
The visitor eventually had to rest content with 252 for five against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group ‘B’ match that commenced at the Gangothri Glades Ground here on Tuesday.
The Bengal innings largely thrived on Banerjee’s second Ranji ton 107 (250b, 13x4).
The southpaw found his initial spark through a cover drive off A. Mithun and later displayed a penchant to cut repeatedly through a packed off-side.
A majority of his runs were pocketed in the arc between third man and sweeper cover as the seamers in their desire to get the fatal edge, fed deliveries that suited his strength.
Banerjee remained composed through a 369-minute vigil and enjoyed a reprieve on 86 as Sunil Joshi dropped him at first slip off S. Arvind.
The opener also found a steady ally in Tiwary (78, 169b, 8x4, 2x6), who led Bengal due to the absence of an injured Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
The duo revived the innings from a weak 52 for two in 19.4 overs as Tiwary carted two sixes off Joshi and punched Arvind through the covers while striking a confident pose.
Tiwary, however, played beside the line to Joshi as the left-arm spinner spun one in to breach Bengal’s resistance.
At the other end, Banerjee reached his ton, sweeping Joshi but the shot undid him against Amit Verma. Soon Mithun castled Abhishek Jhunjhunwala to help Karnataka breathe easy at close on the opening day.
Earlier, Banerjee and his partner Arindam Das (27) shared a 52-run opening partnership in 19.2 overs that largely negated Karnataka skipper Robin Uthappa’s decision to field. Seamers Vinay Kumar and Mithun extracted good bounce from a sporting track but the Bengal openers gritted past a sedate first session, scoring 19 runs from 10 overs.
Left-arm seamer Arvind, however, dealt a double blow in the day’s 20th over as he forced Das to feather an edge and disturbed Deep Dasgupta’s timber.
The visitor, however, recovered through Banerjee and Tiwary before losing its way while the shadows lengthened.
Bengal — 1st innings: Rohan Banerjee lbw b Amit Verma 107, Arindam Das c Akhil b Arvind 27, Deep Dasgupta b Arvind 0, M. Tiwary b Joshi 78, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala b Mithun 8, Wriddhiman Saha (not out) 3, Shib Sagar Singh (not out) 1. Extras (b-1, lb-13, nb-6, w-3, penalty 5): 28. Total (for five wkts. in 90 overs): 252.
Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-52, 3-224, 4-241, 5-246.
Karnataka bowling: Vinay 21-4-46-0, Mithun 17-3-39-1, Arvind 18-5-48-2, Joshi 17-5-46-1, Akhil 8-2-26-0, Amit Verma 9-2-28-1.