Ranji Trophy: Khejroliya, Bhati shine as Delhi takes first-innings lead

Kulwant Khejroliya and Subodh Bhati picked up three wickets each as Bengal fell 20 runs short of Delhi's total.

Khejroliya's decisive spell fetched him three wickets for 11 runs off 30 balls as Bengal lost five for 79 in the post-lunch session.   -  shiv kumar pushpakar

The cutting edge in the Delhi pace department, despite the absence of Navdeep Saini, came to the fore when the tourist restricted Bengal to 220 and secured a crucial first innings lead on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.

Kulwant Khejroliya and Subodh Bhati picked up three wickets each as Bengal fell 20 runs short of Delhi's total. Delhi, at 41 for two in its second innings, enjoyed a 61-run lead at stumps.

READ| As it happened: Ranji Trophy Round 8, Day 2

Khejroliya shines with ball

Khejroliya showed his guile to provide an early breakthrough. A peach of a delivery, deviating and bouncing off the surface, took Abhishek Raman's outside edge through to wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat.

Abhimanyu Easwaran (40, 62b, 5x4) and Sudip Chatterjee (56, 102b, 9x4) laid a solid platform with a 63-run second-wicket partnership.

Abhimanyu played some well-timed boundaries, predominantly on the onside, before getting caught behind off left-arm spinner Shivank Vashisth.

Sudip had a lucky escape when he edged Khejroliya to slips and the on-field umpires referred the appeal to the third umpire, who hit the red button by mistake before rectifying it.

Sudip played the ball late, getting a majority of his boundaries behind the stumps and off his legs. He tried to form another partnership with Manoj Tiwary but the latter blundered by shouldering arms to an incoming delivery from Khejroliya, who used the angle well while bowling round the wicket.

The lanky seamer's decisive spell fetched him three wickets for 11 runs off 30 balls as Bengal lost five for 79 in the post-lunch session.

Sudip, dropped by Akash Sudan of his own bowling on 47, became Bhati's maiden wicket shortly after scoring his first half-century of the season. The left-hander edged it to Rawat, who went on to complete six dismissals.

Writtick Chatterjee and Aamir Gani also fell to Bhati as Delhi thwarted the host side despite Pradipta Pramanik's quick-fire 37, which included two fours and as many sixes.

At Kolkata: Delhi 240 & 41 for two in 19 overs vs Bengal 220 in 58.4 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 40, Sudip Chatterjee 56).