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Ranadeb grabs seven, EB hope to turn tide
- Arindam, Safi in heated exchange

Calcutta: A devastating display of pace bowling by Ranadeb Bose floored East Bengal on Day I of the CAB first division league championship play-off final at the Eden on Sunday. The defending champions were dismissed for 291 runs against Sporting Union.

Taking advantage of the overcast conditions, Ranadebís wrecked East Bengal batting by picking up seven for 91. A captainís knock of 64 by Laxmi Ratan Shukla and a classy 60 by Prinan Dutta helped East Bengal reached a decent total.

Electing to bat first, East Bengal lost three wickets for 42. Openers Avijit Sikdar (18) and Amitava Chakraborty (13) were back in the pavilion with just 32 on board.

Sikdar was caught behind off Utpal Chatterjee and Chakraborty followed him soon after being clean bowled by Ranadeb. Bengal opener Subhamoy Das was out cheaply for four as he was caught by Charanjit Singh, again off Ranadeb.

Prinan and Safi Ahmed then put on a crucial 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Both batsmen, however, fell to Ranadeb.

Prinan played second fiddle to Safi (42) and was happy milking the singles. Safiís innings included three fours and two sixes. At lunch, East Bengal were 56 for three in 32 overs and it seemed doubtful if they could reach the 200 mark.

With two overs remaining for lunch, a heated exchange took place between Sportingís Arindam Das and Safi. The umpires intervened to cool tempers. Das, who was fielding at point, asked Safi, who was taking his own sweet time to take his stance, to hurry up. This infuriated Safi and an altercation took place between the duo.

The umpires Alok Bhattcharya and Subroto Porel said that will report the incident to the tournament committee.

With 292 runs as target, Sporting have a real tough task in hand as the wicket will have something for the spinners on the second day.

BRIEF SCORES

East Bengal 291 (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 64, Prinan Dutta 60, Safi Ahmed 42; Ranadeb Bose 7/91) vs Sporting Union.

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