Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Bengal pacers make Andhra fight for survival

C.R. Gnaneshwar, producing an unbeaten 45, was the only name in the Andhra batting order who could find the temperament to withstand the Bengal pace attack.

Bengal bowler Ishan Porel exults after dismissing Andhra batsman Hanuma Vihari during a Ranji Trophy match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday.

Bengal bowler Ishan Porel exults after dismissing Andhra batsman Hanuma Vihari during a Ranji Trophy match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Bengal pacer Ishan Porel produced a three-wicket haul to blow away the Andhra top-order and had the visitor struggling at 110 for seven at stumps on the third day of a Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match, at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Bengal had scored 289 in its first innings.

Opener C.R. Gnaneshwar, producing an unbeaten 45, was the only name in the Andhra batting order who could find the technique and temperament to withstand the Bengal pace attack on a difficult wicket. Weather continued to play its part as the match started one hour and 45 minutes late owing to overnight rains and poor light early in the day. The light also forced an early end as the day’s action was called off only 47 minutes into the final session.

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After Mukesh Kumar got opener D.B. Prashanth Kumar leg-before, Porel exploited the windy conditions dismissing Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari (23) and Ricky Bhui (0) in successive deliveries to reduce Andhra to three for 35 in the 17th over. The Porel factor continued to dog the visitor, which lost wicketkeeper-batsman K.S. Bharat (2) in the 21st over to see its troubles compounding at 51 for four. Mukesh Kumar, B. Amit and Akash Deep scalped three more Andhra wickets reducing it to 87 for seven.

Gnaneshwar, joined by injured G. Manish’s substitute Bandaru Ayyappa (5 batting), kept Andhra’s hopes of avoiding the follow-on with his unbeaten 148-ball innings of 45. Andhra still needs 30 runs to avoid the follow-on.
 

Brief score

Bengal 289 vs Andhra 110/7 in 46 overs (C.R. Gnaneshwar 45 batting)

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