Jharkhand’s day was bookended by two spells of synchronised clapping, aimed at boosting the morale of the fielders, but in between Bengal continued to pile misery on its opponent and end day two of the first quarterfinal of the Ranji Trophy at 577 for five at the Just Cricket Academy Ground here on Tuesday.  

After Shahbaz Ahmed ramped Sushant Mishra (two for 122) for six over the third man following the dismissal of Abishek Porel (68, 111b, 11x4), who was strangled down leg, the Jharkhand dugout geed up the fielders with a round of applause in the 175th over of the innings. Earlier, a similar spectacle had transpired an hour into the day’s play.  

Between these bouts of cheers, Bengal ran the bowlers ragged. Porel and Manoj Tiwary (54 n.o., 146b, 3x4, 1x6), pairing for a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket, looked poised for a rousing end to the day with the third new ball yielding 46 runs in 11 overs. Porel, who reached his third fifty in his maiden Ranji Trophy season, cut and drove the pacers and spinners in equal measure. Overcoming his jitters with the short ball, in particular, Tiwary struck his first boundary after facing 95 balls before reaching his fifty with a crisp cover-drive for four.

FOLLOW:   Ranji Trophy Quarterfinals, Day 2 Highlights: Karnataka slips to 100/8 at Stumps   

Earlier, Sudip Kumar Gharami 186(380b, 21x4, 1x6) and Anustup Majumdar 117(194b, 15x4) built on the overnight score of 310 for one with their stonewalling, which yielded 99 runs in 35 overs in the first session. Majumdar reached the three-figure mark with a couple of fours after Ashish Kumar troubled him initially by moving the ball both ways. Rahul Shukla, however, was inaccurate from the start, straying on the pads to allow two fours in the second over of the day.  

After a back-breaking spell, Shahbaz Nadeem finally tasted success, drawing Majumdar’s outside edge by beating him in the air and ending a 243-run stand. Abhishek Raman (61, 109b 8x4, 1x6), who retired hurt on 41 on day one, showed intent from the get-go by stepping out and depositing off-spinner Utkarsh Singh over long-on for six before he was consumed by his aggression, stranded outside his crease by a flighted Anukul Roy delivery.

The day belonged to young Gharami, who shifted gears after an assuring first session. A bottom-handed whip through mid-wicket and a wild slash to the third man boundary betrayed a sense of hurry to complete a double ton.

He eventually fell 14 runs short of it when he flicked a loose one down leg-side to the wicketkeeper and walked back to a rousing ovation from his teammates - shock and disbelief still writ large on his face.