| Kartik: Late strike
New Delhi: Railways spinners Murali Kartik and Kulamani Parida restricted Rest of India to 213 for four in their first innings on the first day of the Irani Trophy match at the Karnail Singh stadium Tuesday.
Opener Akash Chopra scored 92 while skipper Yuvraj Singh chipped in with 50 as Rest of India piled up 195 for one at one stage after winning the toss and electing to bat.
But left-arm spinner Kartik picked up two wickets in successive overs after tea to peg Rest back. Off-spinner Parida did further damage dismissing Abhijit Kale for one.
At stumps, Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar was batting on 12 while Vijay Dahiya was on three.
Earlier, after labouring to 67 for no loss in the first session, the Rest batsmen began to open up in the second session. However, they lost Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer for a well made 41, bowled by Parida trying to play across the line.
Chopra played some fine drives of both the spinners as well as the pacemen who were rendered almost redundant on a wicket hardly conducive to seam movement.
Yuvraj, who started cautiously, could hardly restrain his natural attacking instincts and found himself beaten on a number of occasions. But he broke lose in one over of non-regular bowler Shreyas Khanolkar, hammering him for one six and two fours.
Chopra, who was racing along, suddenly found himself struggling in front of the Railways spinners after reaching the 90s.
He was unable to complete what could have been a well-deserving century when he failed to read a sharp incoming delivery of Kartik to offer a catch at forward short-leg to Amit Pagnis.Then Yuvraj was stumped by an alert Abhay Sharma off Kartik.