Ranji Trophy: Bengal bowlers lose the plot
The bowlers were initially doing a fine job after Bengal lost the toss in their Ranji Trophy semi-final versus Madhya Pradesh at the Alur Cricket Stadium (near Bangalore).
Midway in the second session of Day I, Bengal had Madhya Pradesh wobbling at 97 for 4, till Himanshu Mantri (134 batting) and young Akshat Raghuwanshi (63) regained momentum with their solid century-plus stand.
The 123-run fifth-wicket partnership between opener Mantri and Raghuwanshi helped Madhya Pradesh go to stumps at 271 for 6 on Tuesday.
Bengal pacers again did a fabulous job on a pitch having little assistance for quicks. Mukesh Kumar struck twice before lunch, trapping opener Yash Dubey LBW before inducing a thick edge off the blade of the in-form Rajat Patidar that was snapped up by Manoj Tiwary at the slip cordon.
Mukesh’s new-ball partner, Akash Deep, was disciplined right through, giving little away. But Bengal’s left-arm spin duo of Pradipta Pramanik (replacement for pacer Ishan Porel) and the seasoned Shahbaz Ahmed were inconsistent with their lengths, though both of them began well with early strikes.
Together, Pramanik (1/50 in 14 overs) and Shahbaz (1/70 in 14 overs) conceded 120 runs off 28 overs.