Fine half-centuries by Anustup Majumder and Shreevats Goswami guided Bengal to 286 for five in its first innings on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group-A match against Delhi at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Majumder and Goswami's 117-run stand for the fifth wicket revived Bengal's innings after the host faced a crisis at 100 for four. Koushik Ghosh, who replaced opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, held one end even as the home side lost wickets regularly primarily due to poor shot selection in testing conditions.
Ghosh first saw opening partner Abhishek Raman caught behind off seamer Simarjeet Singh's first over. Southpaw Kazi Saifi wasted his hard work to be bowled by left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra while stand-in captain Manoj Tiwary perished off a Mishra delivery that dipped and turned a little. Ghosh (46, 122b, 7x4), got hit twice on his hand by rising deliveries, played Kulwant Khejroliya away from his body and was caught at second slip.
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Barring Simarjeet, Delhi’s depleted pace attack lacked the discipline to make the most of a moisture-laden pitch early in the morning.
As the pitch eased out, the experienced duo of Majumder and Goswami rotated the strike and sent the loose deliveries to the fence. Majumder (94 batting, 178b, 14x4) scored boundaries on either side of the pitch, while Goswami (59, 84b, 10x4) looked particularly strong on the leg-side.
The partnership, which took around two hours to resuscitate Bengal, ended when Goswami stepped out and for a leading edge to mid-off as the disciplined Mishra got his third wicket. Majumder then added an unbeaten 69-run partnership with Shahbaz Ahmed (39 batting, 65b, 8x4) to end Bengal's day on a strong note.