Ranji Trophy: Andhra, Bengal share honours in see-saw battle

Andhra's Prashanth Kumar kept the host side in the hunt with an entertaining 90 but the two teams settled for a draw in the end.

Prashanth was clean bowled by Ishan Porel on 90.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

There was little to choose between the two teams as Bengal and Andhra played out an engrossing draw on the final day of the Group B match at the YSR ACA VDCA Stadium here on Tuesday.

Resuming on its overnight total of 321, Andhra lost its last wicket in a span of three deliveries. Bengal, then, infused life into, what until then had looked like a dead rubber, by batting aggressively to declare its second innings on 223 for seven, setting the host side a target of 203.

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Andhra scored 170 for seven before sharing the honours. It three points for the first innings lead, while the visitor settled for one.

Solid start

Abhimanyu Easwaran (57) and Sudip Chatterjee (47) scored at a brisk pace, putting up 89 runs in approximately 17 overs. Abhimanyu timed the ball well to get six boundaries on either side, while Sudip's confident knock was dotted with five fours and a six on the off-side.

The two, however, departed in quick succession, but skipper Manoj Tiwary (18) and Agniv Pan (25) came together to  add 22 quick runs.

Tiwary was run out after backing up too far at the non-striker's end. Writtick Chatterjee, though, controlled the proceedings with a useful 40 as Bengal declared an hour after lunch.

Prashanth's fireworks

Andhra lost opener C.R. Gnaneshwar early, but the experienced Prashanth Kumar took on the opposition bowlers. N.J. Saikrishna, who struck a 41-ball 45, including five fours and a six, was in aggressive mode after tea as Andhra picked up runs way above the required rate of 4.6.

Prashanth's clean hitting kept Andhra in the hunt until he was bowled by Ishan Porel on 90. His innings was studded with 10 fours and three sixes.

At Visakhapatnam: Bengal 300 & 223 for seven decl. in 40.3 overs (Sudip Chatterjee 47, Writtick Bijoy Chatterjee 40 n.o.) drew with Andhra 321 in 119.3 overs (C.R. Gnaneshwar 66, Jyothi Sai Krishna 43, Ricky Bhui 52, K.S. Bharat 61, Mukesh Kumar four for 45); Points: Andhra 3(8), Bengal 1(16).