Ranji Trophy: Bengal, Delhi share points in rainy Kolkata

Bengal, which has played three rain-affected matches at the Eden this season, slipped to fifth and Delhi to ninth in Group A and B combined standings.

Only 16.3 overs could be bowled in the last two days due to rain and bad light.   -  Y. B. SARANGI

Bad light followed by 10 minutes of heavy showers disrupted play on the final day as the Ranji Trophy Elite Group-A match between Bengal and Delhi ended in a draw at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.

Delhi added 25 runs, punctuated by a break due to foggy and overcast conditions, to its overnight total to score 242 for seven.

The unbeaten pair of Jonty Sidhu, starting from 49, and Subodh Bhati, resuming from seven, put on a fight to gather 24 runs off six overs in 25 minutes before the first stoppage.

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Sidhu achieved a deserving half-century and Bhati hit a few boundaries to raise Delhi's hope of overhauling Bengal’s first innings total of 318.

They returned after 33 minutes to add a run in one over before returning to the pavilion again owing to poor visibility.

Eden resembled a pool of water after heavy rains, despite the groundsmen working hard for two-and-a-half hours to dry it up. However, the umpires decided to call off the match as they spotted some wet patches in the outfield during an inspection around 3:30 p.m.

Only 16.3 overs could be bowled in the last two days due to rain and bad light. As the first innings remained unfinished, both teams got one point apiece.

“We are playing well and have to win the remaining matches (in Jaipur and Patiala) to reach the knockout stage,” said Bengal’s stand-in skipper Manoj Tiwary.

“We wanted to go for three points, but our boys put up a fight,” said Delhi coach K.P. Bhaskar. Delhi will play its next two matches at home.

Bengal, which has played three rain-affected matches at the Eden this season, slipped to fifth and Delhi to ninth in Group A and B combined standings.

Abhimanyu back to lead Bengal

Captain Abhimanyu Easwaran, who was on India ‘A’ duty in New Zealand, will be back to lead Bengal in its next two Ranji Trophy clashes.

Bengal will face Rajasthan in Jaipur from February 4 to 7. It will meet Punjab in Patiala from February 12 to 15. In Abhimanyu’s absence, Manoj Tiwary captained the side in the match against Delhi at the Eden Gardens.

The squad:

Abhimanyu Easwaran (captain), Manoj Tiwary, Anustup Majumdar, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Abhishek Raman, Koushik Ghosh, Kazi Junaid Saifi, Arnab Nandi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Writtick Chatterjee, Shreyan Chakraborty, Nilkantha Das, Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar, Geet Puri, Raj Kumar Pal.