Sudip Gharami and skipper Manoj Tiwary combined in an unbeaten partnership of 126 runs for the fourth wicket to steer Bengal to a commendable seven-wicket win against Baroda in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘A’ match at the Bengal Cricket Academy ground in Kalyani on Friday.
After Baroda’s second innings folded for 98, Bengal suffered early jolts, chasing a tricky target of 177. But Gharami, who has scored 473 runs in five matches in the current Ranji Trophy season, stood steadfastly against a resolute Baroda attack. He remained unbeaten on 76 (140b, 4x11, 6x1) as Bengal resumed the chase from the overnight score of 53 for three. Gharami received able companionship from Manoj, who played a captain’s knock and remained unbeaten on 60 (118b, 4x8) to see Bengal register a memorable turnaround at home.
The win helped Bengal bag six crucial points which put the Laxmi Ratan Shukla-coached side on the top of the current group standings with 25 points from five games (earned from three wins and two draws).
Uttarakhand, having 23 points from five games, moved to the second spot while Baroda (13 points) fell to the fourth spot behind Himachal Pradesh (17 points). Bengal will next take on Haryana in a group match starting on Tuesday at Lahli.