Kunal Chandela played a resolute knock of 136 to steer Uttarakhand’s first innings out of the woods against visiting Bengal, in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group-A clash at Abhimanyu Cricket Academy in Dehradun on Thursday.
Chandela’s gritty show ensured that Uttarakhand reached a respectable 272 after being reduced to 48 for six at one stage. Bengal, which had scored 387 after being asked to bat, took first innings lead of 115 runs before reaching 48 for one in its second innings.
Resuming on the overnight score of 104 for six, Uttarakhand was reduced to 118 for seven as Akhil Rawat (40) returned to the pavilion within the first hour’s action after adding 14 runs to the previous day’s score. Just when the Bengal bowlers were hoping to wrap up Uttarakhand’s first innings, Chandela (136, 304b, 4x13, 6x2) found a great companion in the No. 9 batsman Abhay Negi, who scored a patient 50. The two stood firm against the Bengal bowling attack and scripted a 128-run partnership for the eighth wicket to bail the home side out of trouble. Pradipta Pramanik (four for 58), Akash Deep (three for 63) and Shahbaz Ahmed (three for 66) were the picks of Bengal bowlers.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (24) and Sudip Kumar Gharami (24) remained unbeaten as Bengal reached 48 for one to extend its lead to 163 runs at stumps on day three.