Bengal batsmen managed to get starts but none could go on to get a big score as the visitor managed to end the first day on a competitive 266 for the loss of six wickets against Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy on Thursday.
The former champion, electing to bat first at the scenic Atal Bihari Vajpayee stadium in Nadaun – hosting its first Ranji Trophy game since 2005 – though Vijay Hazare Trophy matches were held as late as last season – saw both captain Manoj Tiwary and the experienced Anustup Majundar score half centuries but fall soon after even as the rest of the batting tried to rally on a pitch that both teams were cautious of early in the game.
Openers Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Eswaran put on 64 runs for the opening wicket before Rishi Dhawan got the first wicket. Raman fell two short of a laboured half century and the experienced Sudip Chatterjee was packed off soon after before Tiwary and Majumdar steadied the innings, adding 73 for the fourth wicket.
The waywardness of the Himachal bowlers did not help the host's cause while Ankush Bains, who struggled in the limited-over format just before joining the team for the competition, continued to have a harrowing day behind the stumps, conceding 14 byes and 16 leg-byes.
The post-tea session, however, saw the Himachal seamers come back into the game with three quick wickets, aided by the slight nip in the air, to share the honours at the end of the day.
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