Opener Shantanu Mishra grabbed some attention with an unbeaten 41 as the opening day’s action of the Ranji Trophy Group-A match between Bengal and Odisha at the Eden Gardens here was severely curtailed due to the damp pitch on Tuesday.
The wet pitch, apparently due to excessive watering, was a cause of concern for the teams on the eve of the match. It badly affected the first day’s action as the toss took place at 12.30 p.m. and play began at 1 p.m, instead of the usual 8.45 a.m. start, following four rounds of inspection by the umpires.
Put in to bat, Odisha scored 96 for two wickets in 35 overs in its first innings, as less than three hours of play was possible through the whole day.
The afternoon start was conducive for the Odisha openers Anurag Sarangi and Shantanu (41 batting, 106b, 6x4), who batted patiently to see off about an hour’s play.
Akash Deep provided the breakthrough as Anurag was caught at short mid-wicket in the 15th over.
Shantanu and Sandeep Pattanaik (30, 46b, 6x4) carried on nicely to add 57 runs for the second wicket. Shantanu drove and flicked on the onside and cut well to get his fours off loose deliveries. Sandeep gathered most of his runs through boundaries on either side.
They punished debutant pacer Akash Ghatank, who did not show discipline.
The partnership broke when Sandeep was caught behind chasing a wide ball from Ishan Porel.
Shantanu and skipper Subhranshu Senapati were in the middle when the day’s play was called off.
“Our bowlers tried their best. We will continue to do so and will look to get wickets early tomorrow,” said Bengal coach L.R. Shukla.