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Weather gifts Bengal a point

New Delhi: Sharp morning showers and poor light in the afternoon poured cold water on Delhi’s hopes of forcing an outright win against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy elite group A match at the Kotla Tuesday.

After the match commenced at 1.20 pm, Delhi captured four Bengal wickets to press for an incredible win. But captain Rohan Gavaskar(32) and Devang Gandhi (26) launched a counter-attack to shut out any victory hopes for the hosts.

When the umpires called off play after two mandatory overs, Bengal were 134 for four.

Bengal earned a vital point via a first innings lead to take their tally to three while Delhi stay on seven.

Resuming at two for no loss, Bengal lost Arindam Das early to Amit Bhandari. Nikhil Haldipur and Deep Dasgupta then added 47 runs in more than 25 overs for the second wicket.

After Deep (19) departed — gloving a lifting delivery from Rahul Sanghvi to Vijay Dahiya, Bengal were in a spot of bother.

Subhomoy Das, whose 66 ensured the first innings, did not last long, returning a simple catch to Sanghvi. And when Nikhil also fell at 73, Delhi started smelling blood.

But Rohan took charge lifting Sanghvi over the sight screen and Devang followed it up with two consecutive boundaries. This helped the pressure to come down and silenced the chirpy close-in Delhi fielders.

However, Dahiya persisted with the spinners and Sanghvi tied down Devang for a while. But Rohan again responded with two over boundaries off Sarandeep Singh.

Bengal next host Andhra Pradesh at the Eden Gardens from Saturday.

Floodlit friendly

Meanwhile, a 25-over friendly day-night match between the Orissa and Bengal Ranji Trophy teams will be held to mark the inauguration of the floodlighting arrangements of Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium on February 6, the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) secretary said on Tuesday, adds a report from Cuttack.

The stadium will be thrown open to the public to watch the match free under floodlights, OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera said.

Dignitaries and officials of the BCCI have been invited to attend the inauguration ceremony, he said.

The OCA has procured five more 125 KW silencer generators in addition to the four procured earlier and all the eight lighting towers were working smoothly, Behera said. Meanwhile, BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta has congratulated OCA for the floodlighting of the stadium.

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