Ranji Trophy quarters: Bengal makes late strikes as Odisha falters in reply

Odisha benefited from the 125-run stand between Shantanu Mishra and Debasish Samantray, but the Bengal bowlers' made late inroads to halt the host’s progress on day two.

Debasish Samantray raises his bat on reaching his fifty on day two against Bengal.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Bengal bowlers' persistence halted Odisha’s progress on the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match at the DRIEMS ground here on Friday.

Bengal, resuming at 308 for six, scored 332 in its first innings.

Odisha benefited from a commendable 125-run partnership between Shantanu Mishra (62, 214b, 7x4) and Debasish Samantray (68, 145b, 10x4, 1x6) before Bengal picked up three wickets in the last hour to reduce the host to 151 for four.

Odisha seamers restricted Bengal early. Suryakant Pradhan castled Shahbaz Ahmed on his overnight score (82).

Basant Mohanty took three wickets, including that of Anustup Majumder (157), to claim four wickets in his 100th match.

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After losing Anurag Sarangi to Nilkantha Das in the sixth over, Shantanu and Debasish showed good temperament and applied themselves for nearly five hours.

The left-and-right-handed pair, following a period of circumspection, unleashed some classy shots on a slower and flatter pitch.

Shantanu kept blocking, while Debasish, Odisha’s highest run-getter, mixed his solid defence with some spectacular shots. The southpaw drove the pacers fluently and hoisted off-spinner Arnab Nandi for a six.

They reached their half-centuries in the final session before the disciplined Nilkantha broke the century stand. Debasish lost patience and his wicket.

Bengal roared back when Shahbaz bowled Shantanu and Ishan Porel had Govinda Poddar caught at slip off a rising delivery.

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