| Sanjeeb held the lower middle-order well
Tirunelveli: Tamil Nadu found themselves in an uncomfortable position as Bengal captured three quick wickets to reduce the hosts to 84 for three at stumps on Day II of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match here Monday.
Earlier, resuming at overnight 207 for three, Bengal stretched the score to 400. Nikhil Haldipur, who was unbeaten on 79 on Sunday, completed his century. His innings of 100 lasted 267 balls and was studded with 13 boundaries. But the real star of the Bengal batting on Day II was Sanjeeb Sanyal, who smashed 89 of 172 balls.
Bengal, aiming at a total of somewhere in the vicinity of 450, lost the wicket of Laxmi Ratan Shukla (42) quite early.
Sanjeeb and Nikhil then took the score to 255, before Nikhil was dismissed. From thereon, it was a Sanjeeb show.
The lower middle-order also chipped in with some useful contributions as Bengal went past the 300-mark. After debutant Aniruddha Roy (11) and comeback man Shib Sagar Singh (14) gave Sanjeeb good company, the old warhorse Utpal Chatterjee scored 37 quick runs.
In fact, he was dismissed to another questionable leg-before decision (after Subhamoy Das on Day I), according to the Bengal team management.
The umpire involved was Ravi Deshmukh of Baroda.
S. Suresh was the most successful bowler for Tamil Nadu, finishing with figures of three for 80.
After the Bengal innings folded, it was Shib Shankar (two for 32) who took charge. He followed up his two six-wicket hauls in the previous games, dismissing Suresh for a duck. The other opener S. Vidyut (21) too didnít last long, offering a catch at the slips of the bowling of Shib Shankar. As S. Badrinath (49 batting) held one end up, Utpal gave Bengal something more to cheer about, removing S. Madangopal for five.