Bengal looked poised to take the first innings lead as it reduced Goa to 191 for five after scoring a reasonably big total of 379 in the first innings of the Group D Ranji Trophy match at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. With the top order of the Goa batting already removed and the visitor still 188 runs behind, the host’s search for a quarterfinal berth appeared on the verge of realisation. Bengal needs three points to secure the second spot in the group and progress to the next stage.
A rejuvenated Goa bowling attack made a good return on the second day in ensuring that the Bengal first innings folded up adding just 74 runs to the overnight score of 305 for five. Bengal lost its remaining wickets within the first hour of play as Lakshay Garg picked up the overnight batsmen Anustup Majumdar and Writtick Chatterjee to end the prospect of a big score.
Chatterjee was first to go when he was clean bowled by Garg. Amogh Desai pulled off a fine catch with a spectacular dive in the gully to see the end of all-rounder B. Amit, who was looking dangerous having struck two boundaries in his score (12). Young Heramb Parab picked up two quick wickets as he got Kanishk Seth leg-before after picking up Amit in the day’s 12th over. Majumdar, who could add just 12 runs to his overnight score of 107, was next to go as Garg picked up his fourth wicket and the Bengal innings folded up soon with the last man Sayan Ghosh walking back for a duck.
In reply, Goa could not manage much as the Bengal pace attack, led by former India player Ashok Dinda, maintained a tight line and earned regular breakthroughs to see the visitor losing its top order after tea. The only notable resistance came from the sixth wicket pair of Amogh Desai (53 batting) and wicketkeeper Keenan Vaz (40 batting) who paired in an unbeaten partnership of 61 runs. Dinda was the most successful Bengal bowler picking three wickets.
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