Gujarat is staring at a certain defeat against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy Group A league match at the Eden Gardens.
On Monday, after Bengal declared at 526 for seven by tea, Gujarat was reduced to 18 for four in nine overs when the umpires stopped play due to bad light 46 minutes before the scheduled close.
Gujarat, still needing 248 runs to avoid an innings defeat, will need extraordinary efforts from the rest of the batsmen to draw the game or pray for weather intervention. At stumps, Y. Venugopala Rao and night watchman Rush Kalaria were at the crease.
More than the poor shot selection by the Gujarat top-order it was some excellent bowling by the home team that landed the visitors in deep trouble.
Tiwary on song
Three outstanding knocks lent momentum to Bengal’s first innings. Overnight unbeaten on 102, captain Manoj Tiwary went on to hammer 191 before he was caught by Rujul Bhatt at covers off pacer Faizal Dhudhat. Tiwary’s knock was the backbone of Bengal’s innings. He faced 312 balls and hit 21 boundaries and a six.
His overnight partner, Anustup Majumdar made a fine 68, with a superb display of attacking batting. The two added 145 runs for the fifth wicket before a poor call by Tiwary forced Majumdar to sacrifice his wicket. Majumdar hit 14 boundaries in his knock. Tiwary and a free-stroking Laxmi Ratan Shukla then added 76 for the sixth wicket.
After Tiwary’s dismissal, Shukla and Mohammad Shami put on 77 for the seventh wicket. Shukla reached his sixth first-class hundred with a six off left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhruv and was unbeaten on 113 when Bengal declared its innings.
The scores: Gujarat – 1st innings: 260.
Bengal – 1st innings: P.S. Bhattacharya lbw b Kushang 3, S. Goswami c Parthiv b Kalaria 2, S. Das c Dhruv b Kalaria 75, M. Tiwary c Bhatt b Dhudhat 191, W. Saha c Smit b Kalaria 27, A. Majumdar (run out) 68, L.R. Shukla (not out) 113, M. Shami b Dhruv 23, S. Sarkar (not out) 15; Extras (lb-6, nb-2, w-1): 9; Total (for seven wkts. decl. in 138 overs): 526.
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-19, 3-120, 4-198, 5-343, 6-419, 7-496.
Gujarat bowling: Kalaria 32-6-116-3, Kushang 40-8-135-1, Dhudhat 28-5-111-1, Dhruv 34-3-143-1, Panchal 4-0-15-0.
Gujarat — 2nd innings: P. Panchal (run out) 0, Smit Patel b Sarkar 4, Niraj Patel c Majumdar b Dinda 0, Parthiv Patel c Saha b Tiwary 12, Y. Venugopala Rao (batting) 2, R. Kalaria (batting) 0; Total (for four wkts. in nine overs): 18.
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-4, 3-8, 4-18.
Bengal bowling: Dinda 3-1-9-1, Sarkar 2-1-1-1, Saxena 2-1-2-0, Tiwary 2-1-6-1.