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Saha earns Bengal a point

Mumbai: Bengal wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha got a reprieve and then fought hard as he helped Bengal earn a point against favourites Mumbai, despite seamer Abhishek Nayar’s deadly spell, in the Ranji Trophy Group A encounter, at the Brabourne Stadium, on Tuesday.

It was a matter of survival for Bengal as they finished the final day’s play at 198 for seven, with Saha remaining not out on 38 off 152 balls, hitting five fours in the process.

Saha was let off on 7 by Kshemal Waingankar off medium pacer Nayar, who was on the rampage with the ball as he finished with incredible figures of six for 13.

Mumbai now have 10 points from four games and are third in the Group, behind Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, while Bengal, with seven points, languish at the sixth place in the nine-team table.

Chasing a target of 391 was out of question as the Bengal batsmen defended doggedly throughout the day scoring only 151 runs in 90 overs.

Nayar unleashed a deadly spell of 12-6-12-4 when the other frontline bowlers failed to make an effect on the rival batsmen, when Saha was given a ‘life’. Nayar again raised the home team’s hopes of an outright victory when he struck twice in 4 balls with the new ball.

But Saha, who faced 126 balls after his escape and was reprieved for the second time by Avishkar Salvi when on 21, ensured a draw for his team in the company of tailender Veer Pratap Singh (0 not out off 19 balls and 35 minutes).

Nayar, who hit half-centuries in both the innings, finished with his third five-wicket haul but did not get adequate support from the other bowlers.

Meanwhile, Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma was reprimanded by BCCI match referee P Kalyan Sunderam for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision.

Sharma showed his disgust when umpire Sudhir Asnani turned down a caught behind appeal against Wridhman Saha off Avishkar Salvi. The Mumbai captain flung his cap on the ground and was also seen spitting after the umpire did not give Saha out.