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Bengal in dire straits

Siliguri: Bengal wasted the advantage they gained against Railways on the second day of their Ranji Trophy match at the Kanchenjungha Stadium on Thursday. Chasing Railwaysí first innings total of 246, they were reduced to 173 for eight at stumps, with Subhamoy Das batting on 37.

Utpal Chatterjee (13) was the last man to be dismissed in the final over of the day, caught by Jacob Martin off off-spinner Kulamani Parida.

Bengal made a sedate start to the dayís proceedings, adding only 51 runs in the first session losing one wicket. Deep Dasgupta, who missed out on an India berth by a whisker, failed to come up with a big innings again. He was dismissed for 31.

The Bengal middle-order was again not up to the mark. But the most disappointing aspect was that the senior players like Rohan Gavaskar and Devang Gandhi got out after getting set. While Devang was trapped leg-before of the bowling of Harvinder Singh for 30, Rohanís (20) wicket was claimed by Saxena.

Bengal took tea at 128 for three. But the last session was definitely the most forgettable for the home side. While adding only 45 runs, they lost five wickets.

Debutant Subhradeep Ganguly had a bad start to his career, getting out for zero. The lower middle-order, which had been the real strength of the team last season, was also a let-down.

Sanjib Sanyal was adjudged leg-before of the bowling of Parida for 10, while Laxmi Ratan Shukla, whose promotion has been mooted over by the think-tank, didnít bother the scorers.

Subhamoy, CABís Player of the Year last season, stood among the ruins with a patient 37. Though, itís a little premature, but if Bengal fail to garner a point from this game, a fight for saving the relegation can just be on the cards.

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