Punjab steals a march on Bengal

The initiator: Baltej Singh set the ball rolling for Punjab when he bowled Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran through the gate for a 11-ball duck.

The initiator: Baltej Singh set the ball rolling for Punjab when he bowled Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran through the gate for a 11-ball duck.  

Vinay and Baltej share nine wickets to leave the visitor stunned

Vinay Choudhary (6/54) and Baltej Singh (3/16) picked nine wickets between them as Bengal folded for 138 in the first innings to cede the advantage to Punjab on day one of the Ranji Trophy Elite A match here.

Rohan Marwaha and Mandeep Singh took the host to 93 when Akash Deep got rid of the former for 48, signalling stumps. Shahbaz had earlier prised out Abhijeet Garg and Sharad Lumba just after tea.

Disciplined attack

During the course of the morning, Bengal, having elected to bat, battled a disciplined Punjab attack. The tandem of pacers Siddarth Kaul and Baltej put the brakes on Bengal’s innings after captain Abhimanyu Easwaran was bowled through the gate by Baltej for a 11-ball duck. Baltej then got rid of Kaushik Ghosh who played around his front pad and was trapped in front.

Abhishek Raman and Arnab Nandi survived close calls early: off-spinner Krishan Alang, bowling the 10th over of the day, launched into one vociferous appeal after another for lbw but to no avail. But the pressure he created was about to tell.

Making use of a wicket — no signs of alarming turn and bounce though — that was taking spin, Alang kept the batsmen rooted to the crease with his dot balls. “Matha thanda korey (Play with a calm head)”, yelled Bengal coach Arun Lal at one point. But Raman, not heeding Lal’s sound advice, stepped out and hit one into the hands of debutant Ramandeep Singh.


That brought Manoj Tiwary to the crease, who along with Shreevats Goswami, made arduous but necessary progress. The duel between Kaul and Tiwary added some spice to the contest, the duo exchanging stares and occasionally, words.

The two had added 47 for the fifth wicket when Goswami fell after lunch, trapped lbw by Vinay Choudhary for 19. Goswami’s wicket triggered a collapse as the visitor slipped from 104/5 to 138 all out; Choudhary snapping up three in one over. Tiwary, who remained unbeaten on 73, was the lone ranger with the bat.

The scores:

Bengal — 1st innings: Koushik Ghosh lbw b Baltej 7, Abhimanyu Easwaran b Baltej 0, Abhishek Raman c Ramandeep b Alang 14, Arnab Nandi b Choudhary 11, Manoj Tiwary (not out) 73, Shreevats Goswami lbw b Choudhary 19, Anustup Majumdar c Anmol b Choudhary 0, Shahbaz lbw b Choudhary 0, Writtick Chatterjee c Anmol b Baltej 2, Akash Deep c Lumba b Choudhary 0, Ramesh Prasad c Marwaha b Choudhary 0; Extras (nb-1, b-4, lb-7): 12; Total (in 49 overs): 138.

Fall of wickets: 1-8 , 2-21, 3-29, 4-57, 5-104, 6-104, 7-104, 8-119, 9-132.

Punjab bowling: Kaul 11-4-25-0, Baltej 13-6-16-3, Alang 8-0-32-1, Choudhary 17-3-54-6.

Punjab — 1st innings: Rohan Marwaha c Raman b Akash Deep 48, Abhijeet Garg b Shahbaz 14, Sharad Lumba c Raman b Shahbaz 1, Mandeep Singh (batting) 29; Extras (nb-1): 1; Total (for three wkts. in 38.2 overs): 93.

Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-45, 3-93.

Bengal bowling: Akash Deep 4.2-0-13-1, Prasad 11-1-29-0, Shahbaz 11-2-28-2, Nandi 7-2-11-0, Writtick 5-0-12-0.

Toss: Bengal.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:26:03 PM |

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