Ranji Trophy: Bengal in driver's seat against Chandigarh

Bengal relied on its collective strength to tighten the screw on Chandigarh on the penultimate day of its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Barabati Stadium.

Ishan Porel celebrates the fall of a Chandigarh wicket on Saturday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Bengal relied on its collective strength to tighten the screw on Chandigarh on the penultimate day of its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Barabati Stadium here on Saturday.

After restricting Chandigarh for 206 and securing a substantial 231-run first innings lead, Bengal declared its second essay at 181 for eight and set the opposition an improbable target of 413.

At stumps on day three, Chandigarh was tottering at 14 for two in its chase.

Chandigarh, beginning its first innings from 133 for six, gathered 73 more in the first one-and-a-half hours.

READ: Thrilling last day on cards as Jharkhand, TN chase win

Overnight unbeaten batsman Ankit Kaushik, starting from 30, batted positively to find the gaps and score his half-century. He added 44 with his previous evening partner Gaurav Gambhir (13) and 57 with Jaskarandeep Singh (31, 34b, 2x4, 3x6), who unleashed some lusty blows.

Mukesh Kumar’s persistence paid off in the fourth over of the day as he rapped on the pads of Gambhir.

Ishan Porel claimed two wickets, by having Kaushik (63, 113b, 7x4) caught by his brother and trapping Shreshth Nirmohi in front, in one over and Shahbaz dismissed Jaskarandeep, who was held at deep midwicket, as Bengal accomplished its primary task well before lunch.

In its bid to inflate the lead, Bengal lost three wickets for 39 before the veteran Anustup Majumdar (43, 94b, 3x4) batted responsibly to form two handy partnerships worth 30 and 51 with Manoj Tiwary (13) and Abishek Porel (38) respectively.

Abishek and Shahbaz Ahmed (32) added 31 more.

Nirmohi, Jaskarandeep, Gurinder and Gambhir picked up two wickets apiece for Chandigarh.

As Bengal pushed for another outright win, Mukesh, known for providing crucial breakthroughs, found the gritty Arslan Khan’s outside edge. Ishan got rid of Harnoor Singh with a rising delivery to leave his team with the task of getting eight more wickets on the final day.

Hyderabad wins

T.Ravi Teja contributed massively in Hyderabad’s 43-run win over Baroda at the Vikash Cricket Ground.

Resuming from 169 for six, Hyderabad gathered 201 in its second innings. Ravi was the top-scorer with 56 (123b, 8x4).  Chasing 236, Baroda was all out for 192. Ravi took four wickets, while Tanay Thyagarajan got three.

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