Bengal forced to follow-on by Odisha

Kolkata, Jan 26 (PTI) Odisha quicks Suryakant Pradhan and Sunil Roul shared six wickets among themselves as Bengal were forced to follow-on after being dismissed for just 100 runs on day three of their Ranji Trophy Group A match here on Thursday.

Replying to Odisha’s first-innings score of 265, the hosts came up with their worst batting display this season, packing up in just 35.5 overs, with Abhimanyu Easwaran (27) being their highest run-getter.

The hosts, however, made amends in the second innings, closing the day at 220 for three — a lead of 55 runs — as Easwaran closed in on his 21st first-class century.

The 27-year-old batted patiently after the first-innings debacle, consuming 156 deliveries for his unbeaten 94, while captain Manoj Tiwary was unbeaten on 50.

However, the first session of day three belonged to the Odisha bowlers, who started from where they had left off overnight, taking the remaining eight wickets for the addition of just 61 runs to the Bengal total.

Both Bengal’s overnight batter, Easwaran and Pritam Chakraborty, were gone in no time, and from 39/2 they slumped to 58/4.

Pradhan and Roul grabbed three wickets each, with the latter throttling the host batters and giving away just 19 runs in his eight overs.

Bengal batters played far more sensibly in the second innings although Karan Lal departed early. But the other opener, Easwaran, resisted the temptation to score quick runs, taking his time to settle down and then dispatching the loose deliveries to the ropes.

He struck 13 boundaries and was involved in two productive partnerships — 82 with Sudip Gharami and an unbeaten 103-run stand with Tiwary.

The unbroken partnership between the two top-order batters will be the key if Bengal are to avoid a defeat on Friday.

However, a loss will not impact Bengal’s chances this season as they have already secured a quarter-final berth.

Bengal are currently leading the points table with 32 points, while Odisha are seventh in the group with eight points.

Brief scores: At Kolkata: Odisha 265 vs Bengal 100 in 35.5 overs (Suryakant Pradhan 3/45, Sunil Roul 3/19) & f/o 220 for 3 in 62 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran batting 94, Sudip Gharami 50, Manoj Tiwary batting 50).

At Rohtak: Haryana 223 in 71.3 overs (Kapil Hooda 42, Sumit Kumar 86; Avneesh Sudha 6/51) vs Uttarakhand 125 for 1 in 43 overs (Avneesh Sudha batting 61, Kunal Chandela batting 32).

At Vadodara: Baroda 561 for 6 decl beat Nagaland 130 and f/o 88 in 30.1 overs (Bhargav Bhatt 4/37, Ninad Rathva 4/32) by an innings and 343 runs.

At Nadaun: Himachal Pradesh 15/0 in 4.4 overs vs Uttar Pradesh.

Source: PTI News


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