Special Correspondent

Ganguly debarred for running on the danger zone

KOLKATA: Thirteen wickets fell on the opening day of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Tamil Nadu at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday. At the end of an eventful day, Bengal was tottering at 32 for three in reply to Tamil Nadu's first innings total of 218 on a green top.

At stumps, Sourav Ganguly was unbeaten on eight and Avishek Jhunjhunwala, playing his second Ranji match, was on 16. Bengal will depend a lot on this pair to pull itself out of this difficult situation on Wednesday.

Only two recognised batsmen, Deep Dasgupta and Laxmi Ratan Shukla, remain to help the cause of the host.

Ganguly, who was forced to play this match owing to Board's directive, was involved in two incidents that could well have been avoided. First he was debarred from bowling further in the first innings in his sixteenth over after twice being warned for running on the danger zone. In the second incident, he took inordinately long time to return to the crease after bad light disrupted play. When he finally returned, the light deteriorated again and the day's play was called off with more than 10 overs remaining.

Ganguly, the hero

If these incidents projected Ganguly as some sort of an anti-hero, he was Bengal's hero in the pre-lunch session trapping S. Sriram and S. Badrinath after Bengal put Tamil Nadu in to bat. Later he removed R. Sathish when he looked to be settling down. But for Hemang Badani's flawless

knock of 67 (107b, 169m, 10x4), Tamil Nadu would have been in deep trouble.

He and Sathish put on 48 runs for the fifth wicket and later added 42 runs with Dinesh Kaarthick for the sixth wicket. Badani, who looked in good nick, left after caught at silly-point off off-spinner Sourashish Lahiri.

Jesuraj's spell

As the day wore on, R. Jesuraj emerged the third hero of the day. The lanky seamer used the conditions well to extract late movement to claim all the three wickets of Bengal innings with a terrific figure of 7-5-2-3.

In his dream spell, he almost had Ganguly leg before, but umpire K. Hariharan thought otherwise.

The former India captain survived and if he could manage the first hour on the second day, he could turn around the match his team's way.

Two players, V. Yo Mahesh of Tamil Nadu and Subhajit Pal of Bengal, made their first class debut.

The scoresTamil Nadu - 1st innings: S. Sriram lbw b Ganguly 5, K. S. Vasudevadas b Bose 5, S. Badrinath lbw b Ganguly 17, S. Sharath c Ganguly b Paul 8, H. Badani c Subhajit Pal b Lahiri 67, R. Sathish lbw b Ganguly 22, D. Kaarthick c Jhunjhunwala b Dinda 21, M.R. Shrinivas c Dasgupta b Dinda 16, A. Kapoor c & b Bose 25, V. Yo Mahesh (not out) 14, R. Jesuraj c Dasgupta b Bose 0.

Extras (lb-12, nb-6): 18. Total (all out, in 65.3 overs): 218.

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-23, 3-40, 4-50, 5-98, 6-140, 7-177, 8-198, 9-214.

Bengal bowling: Paul 20-3-47-1, Bose 14.3-5-43-3, Ganguly 15.5-2-62-3, Dinda 11-2-37-2, Lahiri 4-1-17-1, Gavaskar 0.1-0-0-0.

Bengal - 1st innings: A. Das b Jesuraj 0, S. Pal b Jesuraj 3, A. Jhunjhunwala (batting) 16, R. Gavaskar c Kaarthick b Jesuraj 0, S. Ganguly (batting) 8. Extras (b-4, nb-1): 5. Total (for three wickets, in 14 overs): 32.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-16, 3-20.

Tamil Nadu bowling: R. Jesuraj 7-5-2-3, M.R. Shrinivas 2-1-8-0, Yo Mahesh 3-0-15-0, A. Kapoor 2-0-3-0.

Other scores: Elite group:At Ahmedabad: Gujarat 190 for nine in 90 overs (Parthiv Patel 47, Hemal Watekar 46 batting, Ramesh Powar four for 64) vs. Mumbai.

At Bangalore: Karnataka 231 for six in 90 overs (Barrington Rowland 81, B. Akhil 48 batting) vs. Delhi.

At New Delhi: Maharashtra 55 for one in 32 overs vs. Railways.

At Visakhapatnam: Punjab 190 for four in 90 overs (Pankaj Dharmani 46, Dinesh Mongia 52 batting) vs. Andhra.

At New Delhi: Baroda 82 for one in 26.2 overs (Pinal Shah 42 batting) vs. Services.

At Kanpur: Hyderabad 142 in 55.4 overs (P. Shashank Nag 42) vs. Uttar Pradesh 101 for one in 34 overs (Shivakant Shukla 58 batting).

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