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The Hindu
The Hindu
Y.B. Sarangi

Ranji Trophy | Bengal pushes for first innings lead with a tactical declaration and quick wickets

As gloomy weather and bad light played spoilsport and only nine overs could be bowled in 40 minutes of play, Bengal pushed for the crucial first innings lead on day three of its Ranji Trophy Group-B match against Chhattisgarh at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

Bengal declared its first innings at its overnight total of 381 for eight and delivered early blows on Chhattisgarh, which was at 27 for two at stumps.

With the possibility of an outright result looking remote after most of the time over two days lost due to poor light, Bengal looked for three points.

When play finally began at 3:34 p.m. in the final session after several rounds of inspection, the home bowlers searched for quick wickets while the touring side’s openers, K.D. Eknath and Rishabh Tiwari, batted with positive intent and scored off loose deliveries.

Suraj Jaiswal provided the breakthrough in the seventh over as a solid looking Eknath edged one to Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary at the first slip.

Off-spinner Karan Lal trapped the left-handed Rishabh lbw in the next over.

Chhattisgarh batters Jivesh Butte and Ashutosh Singh survived some anxious moments in fading light before the umpires halted the play again and eventually drew the stumps for the day.

With the weatherman predicting a cloudy and hazy final day, Bengal will make an attempt to inflate its points, while Chhattisgarh will try not to concede too many.

The scores: Bengal — 1st innings: 381 for eight decl. in 128 overs.

Chhattisgarh — 1st innings: K.D. Eknath c Tiwary b Jaiswal 12, Rishabh Tiwari lbw b Karan 10, Jivesh Butte (batting) 0, Ashutosh Singh (batting) 0; Extras (b-4, nb-1): 5, Total (for two wickets in 9 overs): 27.

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-23.

Bengal bowling: Ishan 3-0-13-0, Kaif 2-0-10-0, Karan 2-2-0-1, Jaiswal 1-1-0-1, Ghosh 1-1-0-0.

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