Saurashtra continued their domination against Bengal on Day 3 in the ongoing Ranji Trophy final which is being played at the former’s home ground. Bengal’s batters showed the resistance but they finished the day at 134-4, still in arrears by 291 runs.
Earlier in the day, Bengal got off to a perfect start as Akash Deep got his fourth scalp when he plumbed Chirag Jani in front of the wickets. However, Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat scored 20 whereas Dharmendrasinh Jadeja scored 33, to add 38 runs for the final wicket, which further frustrated the Bengal bowlers. The Bengal team was put in the field for a gargantuan 171.5 overs.
Bengal got off to a decent start as debutant Sudip Kumar Gharami and skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran added 35 runs. However, just at the stroke of lunch, the visitors lost both their openers. The debutant was the first to go as Vishvaraj Jadeja took a stunning catch at short leg of the bowling of Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.
The skipper, Easwaran was dismissed in the next over. However, the right-hander didn’t have the rub of the green on his side as he was prey of poor umpiring. The ball had hit high on the pads and was also drifting down the leg-side but as the domestic reviews only consider the impact of the ball and thus Easwaran had to keep walking back.
Saurashtra were right on top as Bengal were tottering at 35-2. The rebuilding work was done by Sudip Chatterjee and experienced Manoj Tiwary. Manoj was lucky to get a second life as he was bowled by Chirag Jani when he was only on 18 runs but the right-arm seamer had overstepped the popping crease. The tourists showed the stomach for the fight as they didn’t lose any wicket in the post-lunch session and added 59 runs.
However, the Saurashtra bowlers hardly gave an inch to the Bengal batters in the final session as only 40 runs were scored. Jani was finally able to get Manoj Tiwary when he plumbed him in front of the wickets and didn’t repeat his mistake of overstepping. Wriddhiman Saha and Sudip Chatterjee made sure there were no more blows to the wicket column as they both survived some close calls.
Written by: Gautam Chauhan