Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Delhi was facing an uphill task against Bengal, ending the second day at 68 for two in reply to Bengal’s 522 in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ Super League match at the Jadavpur University 2nd Campus here on Wednesday.

At stumps, Aditya Jain (34) and Mithun Manhas (24) were at the crease.

Earlier, Delhi captain Rajat Bhatia took the second new ball in the 82nd over and tasted success immediately. Left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan induced Wriddhiman Saha to edge to wicketkeeper for a well-made 120 (230b, 18x4). The fifth-wicket pair of Sourav Ganguly and Saha added 249 runs.

Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla joined Ganguly and the two scored briskly. The former India captain was severe on left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra but got out when he tried to hoist Sangwan. Ganguly’s terrific knock of 152 came in six hours, containing 19 delightful fours and two sixes.

The departure of Ganguly meant Shukla had to shoulder the responsibility and he did that with assurance. Despite losing Sourasish Lahiri cheaply, Shukla found an able ally in Ashok Dinda and the two put on 129 runs for the eighth wicket.

Shukla reached his fourth first-class century in 90 balls. He hoisted leg-spinner Aditya Jain to straight six to jump from 94 to 100. He was the last man to fall for a superb 132 (137b, 9x4, 4x6). Dinda, too, reached his career highest score of 41, thus surpassing his pervious best of 27.

Early loss

Delhi openers Ankur Julka and Rahul Yadav found the Bengal medium-pacers Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda tough to handle with both falling to Bose. Julka was taken behind, and Yadav fell trying to avoid a bouncer.

Till bad light stopped play, Aditya Jain and Mithun Manas played some lovely shots. The duo promised more on the morrow.

The scores:

Bengal – 1st innings: R. Banerjee c Bisht b Sharma 5, A. Das c Bisht b Sangwan 4, D. Chakraborty b Awana 18, M. Tiwary b Awana 8, S. Ganguly c Bhatia b Sangwan 152, W. Saha c Bisht b Sangwan 120, L.R. Shukla c Bisht b Sangwan 132, S. Lahiri (run out) 0, A. Dinda c Sangwan b Awana 41, I. Saxena lbw b Mishra 2, R. Bose (not out) 6, Extras (b-20, lb-4, nb-10): 34; Total (in 129.1 overs): 522.

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-12, 3-40, 4-43, 5-292, 6-347, 7-358, 8-487, 9-505.

Delhi bowling: Sangwan 27.1-7-113-4, Sharma 27-7-62-1, Awana 27-3-105-3, Bhatia 6-0-36-0, Manhas 14-3-37-0, Mishra 22-2-105-1, Jain 6-0-40-0.

Delhi – 1st innings: A. Julka c Saha b Bose 1, R. Yadav c Saha b Bose 7, A. Jain (batting) 34, M. Manhas (batting) 24; Extras (lb-1, w-1): 2; Total (for two in 22.3 overs): 68.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-10.

Bengal bowling: Bose 7-2-20-2, Dinda 8-1-35-0, Lahiri 5-0-8-0, Saxena 2.3-2-4-0.

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