Abhimanyu Easwaran scored his fourth consecutive century and Sudip Gharami got his second successive one as Bengal finished on a strong position against Nagaland in the Ranji Trophy Group-A match at the Nagaland Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Resuming at 166 for nine, the host’s first innings folded within four balls without adding anything to the overnight total. Pradipta Pramanik improved his career-best showing by taking six wickets.
Bengal, benefitting from a 224-run stand put up by Abhimanyu (170, 218b, 16x4) and Gharami (104, 178b, 11x4, 1x6), aggregated 336 for four to establish a substantial lead of 170 runs at stumps on day two.
Returning to the Bengal side after missing the first two matches due to India duty, Abhimanyu batted with unwavering focus. He excelled with his exquisite timing and placement, backed by superb footwork.
The opener drove, punched, cut and flicked nicely to get some lovely boundaries on both sides. His hard running spoke a lot about his fitness level.
After Koushik Ghosh’s early dismissal, Abhimanyu’s double-century stand with Gharami, who continued with his good touch to drive and cut with confidence, enabled Bengal to gather runs at a healthy rate.
Both batters achieved their fifties before lunch and hundreds prior to tea. Their partnership broke when Gharami, put down on 102, pulled Hopongkyu to deep square leg.
Abhimanyu added 70 more with Anustup Majumdar (30, 57b, 1x4) before being bowled by Rongsen Jonathon while playing an ambitious shot.
Nagaland bowlers bowled to the best of their ability and got assistance from the pitch in the form of some turn throughout the day. Pacer Hopongkyu and spinner Jonathon tasted success by taking two wickets apiece.
Nagaland - 1st innings:
Fall of wickets:
Bengal – 1st innings:
Fall of wickets:
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