The Lahli syndrome was once again so pronounced as Bengal and Baroda batsmen took turns to display their ineptness when confronted with a bowler-friendly pitch.
Bengal chose to field, decimated the opposition for 97 but managed just 76 in response. It was bowlers’ day as always at the Chaudhry Bansi Lal Stadium here with Sudip Chatterjee emerging the day's top scorer at 37. He was the ninth man out for Bengal as Baroda clawed back into the game through a seven-wicket strike by 20-year-old seamer Atit Sheth, rated high among the new crop.
Baroda ended the day at 63/3 in the second innings.
Baroda was clueless and collapsed in the first innings. The seasoned Ashok Dinda, who finished with six wickets, and seamer Mukesh Kumar left Baroda bleeding on a pitch that tested the batters' skills.
After the openers put on 17 runs, Baroda's best partnership came when Sagar Mangalorkar and Sheth added 21 runs for the ninth wicket. Sheth then got into his bowling act and cleaned up the Bengal top half.
Sheth accounted for the first seven Bengal wickets before Pragyan Ojha was run out. Skipper Irfan Pathan and Babashafi Pathan then chipped in with a wicket each to ensure Baroda finished with a 21-run first innings lead.
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