The Assam batsmen showed resilience and perseverance in overhauling Bengal's first innings total and reaching 588 for six to pick up three vital points on the fourth day of the Ranji Trophy elite group ‘A' league match which ended in a draw at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
In the process, two of Assam batsmen — S. Sriram and Gokul Sharma — hit centuries and Tarjinder Singh missed the coveted three figure mark by two runs.
After losing to Tamil Nadu, Assam had taken three points for first innings lead over Railways and three more here takes to six points from three games. Bengal, which has three from the Delhi tie, and one each from Mumbai and Assam games, tallies five points from its three matches.
Needing 270 runs more to take the first innings lead on the final day, S. Sriram, unbeaten overnight, played his role to perfection. He and Arlen Konwar added a vital 81 runs for the fourth wicket, putting Assam on the path to taking the lead.
The departure of Konwar (26) at 374 and the loss of Sriram's wicket at 386 saw Assam go to lunch at 398 for five. Sriram's 146 — his 32nd first class hundred — came in five hours off 194 balls. He hit 22 fours.
Tarjinder and Sharma played sensibly to not only thwart all of Bengal's attempts to dislodge them but also to keep the board ticking. Some judicious stroke-play took the team to 498 for five at tea. Singh, well set to get his second hundred of the tournament, fell two runs short of the coveted figure. By then Assam had inched to 562 to tie the total.
Sharma, who was on 75 then, scored 26 runs in 3.5 overs to complete his maiden century (204m, 182b, 14x4, 1x6) to take the total to 588 for six when play was called off.
Bengal — 1st innings: 562 for six declared.
Assam — 1st innings: Dheeraj Jadhav b Ahmed 62, Shib Sankar Roy c Saha b Ahmed 89, S. Sriram c&b Lahiri 146, Amol Muzumdar b Ahmed 44, Arlen Konwar b Shukla 26, Tarjinder Singh c&b Jhunjhunwala 98, Gokul Sharma (not out) 101, Kunal Saikia (not out) 0, Extras (b-4, lb-15, nb-1, w-2) 22; Total (for six in 169 overs) 588.
Fall of wickets: 1-150, 2-167, 3-293, 4-374, 5-386, 6-562.
Bengal bowling: Bose 36-3-144-0, Ahmed 27-5-118-3, Lahiri 41-10-110-1, Jhunjhunwala 14-3-52-1, Shukla 19-4-41-1, Singh 32-3-104-0 .