Ranji Trophy Final, Day Three: Sudip Chatterjee lays anchor for Bengal

At stumps on Day Three, Bengal is on 134 for 3, trailing Saurashtra by 291 runs.

After Bengal's shaky start, Sudip Chatterjee (in picture) steadied the ship alongside Manoj Tiwary. - VIJAY SONEJI

Welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the third day of the Ranji Trophy final between Saurashtra and Bengal.


In Rajkot: Bengal 134 for 3 trails Saurashtra 425 (Vasavada 106, Pujara 66, Akash Deep 4 for 98) by 291 runs.



An absorbing day comes to an end. Behind in this contest, Bengal hangs on, thanks in main to Sudip Chatterjee, who played some lovely strokes but importantly, concentrated hard for most of the day. Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha have given him much support.

Saurashtra still has a lead of 291 runs. Still an uphill task ahead for Bengal in the contest.

Although brief, the innings of Sudip Gharami, the debutant, was also a highlight of the day. Wirily built, he struck four lovely boundaries in his 41-ball 26 before being dismissed by left-arm spinner Jadeja.

Abhimanyu Easwaran's poor form continued; he played 46 balls for his 9.

Join us for Day Four, at 9.20am. Until then, it's goodbye.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Sakariya gets a delivery angle into Chatterjee's legs, and it strikes him below the knee-roll. It's given out, and Chatterjee immediately takes the DRS. After many replays, the umpire rules in the batsman's favour, as the ball hit the ball before it made contact with the pad.

It would have been tragic had Chatterjee, after batting for most of today and staying so vigilant, been dismissed three short of a half-century. The ball would have gone on to hit the leg stump, maybe, but his bat saved him.

Chatterjee and Saha went into their shell to resist Saurashtra in this last hour or so. The ball was reversing, and utmost vigilance was the need of the hour. It's stumps, on Day Three.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Another shout, this time for a caught behind. Unadkat is the bowler. He gets a delivery to move away, and Saha nearly gets an edge. The ball is swinging both ways, and Saha is trying his best to try to minimise the threat by covering his stumps and playing the ball late; also, he is batting outside his crease.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | A huge shout for lbw, but it's not given. Jaydev Unadkat gets a delivery to come into Wriddhiman Saha off a good length; the ball raps him on the knee-roll and then touches his bat. The ball would go over the stumps, also because Saha is playing too far away from the pitch as well. It's too high, thinks the umpire, so the DRS cannot be used by Saurashtra. Unadkat is distraught.

No run for the last 40 deliveries.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Chatterjee plays another maiden over, this time from left-arm seamer Chetan Sakariya. Off a wayward final delivery of the over, a short, wide one, he casually tries the cut shot, but misses. He's still on 47.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Also vigilant is Saha. Plenty of fielders around him as he faces a probing over from Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Saha defends well, and nearly plays one on to his stumps; after having defended, he put his foot out to prevent the ball from touching the stumps. Jadeja has his hands on his head.

What the two teams are fighting for - the trophy. - VIJAY SONEJI


Saurashtra vs Bengal | Chatterjee is stuck on 47 for a while. Jani is likely getting the ball to reverse, and Chatterjee is playing him carefully. To deal better with the swing, Saha decided to take his stance outside the crease.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Chirag Jani gets his man, this time it isn't a no ball. And a much better delivery, too, to get rid of Manoj Tiwary. The ball pitched on a good length outside off-stump and came in just slightly, Tiwary shaped up for a defensive stroke but got no bat on it, perhaps as he hadn't anticipated that movement. The partnership is broken. Bengal three down for 124.

The partnership was worth 89 runs. Tiwary scored 35 (116b, 2x4).

Cheteshwar Pujara's family watches from the stands. - VIJAY SONEJI


Saurashtra vs Bengal |Chetan Sakariya messes up his line, strays down leg, and Sudip Chatterjee duly clips it to midwicket for a boundary. Off the next delivery, Chatterjee plays a smooth straight drive. Back-to-back fours. It takes him to 40.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | 100 up for Bengal, in the third session of the day. The batsmen continue to be vigilant, but are making up for the lack of boundaries by taking singles and twos; they're running hard. Also, Manoj Tiwary has now more than 700 runs this season for Bengal; he needs another 15 runs to get to a half-century.

Sudip Chatterjee attemps a late-cut. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | It's tea, at the SCA stadium in Rajkot. In the last over of the session, there's an appeal for a dismissal, after Sudip Chatterjee comes down the track to Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and tries to smother a delivery. The ball balloons off the flap of his pad to short leg, where the fielder takes the catch. There was no bat involved, the third umpire confirms, after DRS is taken by Saurashtra.

It's been slow going, it's a fruitful period of play for Bengal. Chatterjee and Manoj Tiwary are laying anchor. They've added 59 runs for the third wicket so far. Bengal 94 for 2.

Manoj Tiwary is bowled, but he survives as it's a no-ball from Chirag Jani. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Boundaries flow after a long period of drought. Sudip Chatterjee punishes two loose deliveries from Jadeja. It's been slow going for Chatterjee and Manoj Tiwary. Here's our correspondent Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya, who is in Rajkot for the contest: Bengal batters are trying their best to kill time, and that's how it should be done to save this game.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | A huge slice of luck for Bengal. Manoj Tiwary drags a short, wide delivery from Chirag Jani on to his stumps, but it's a no-ball. Jani's foot landed on the line, and not behind it. It was a loose stroke from Tiwary, but he survives.

Prerak Mankad (right) celebrates with a team-mate after getting rid of Abhimanyu Easwaran. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Short and wide from Jadeja, and Chatterjee pounces on it, playing a cut to collect a boundary through cover. He moves to 9. The partnership: 24.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Extraordinary bounce for a delivery from Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. It pitched on a good length, and then took off; Sudip Chatterjee shaped up to play the sweep, the ball evaded him and went past his head and the wicketkeeper to leg slip, where the regular slip fielder came around the collect the ball. There was an appeal, but no one considered it seriously.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Manoj Tiwary steers a wide delivery from Unadkat to cover for his first boundary; it brings up the 50 for Bengal.

Prerak Mankad celebrates after his appeal for lbw against Abhimanyu Easwaran was upheld by the on-field umpire. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | It's been slow going after lunch, seven runs have been scored in five overs. Sudip Chatterjee (2, 22b) and Manoj Tiwary (5, 17b) are yet to score a single boundary.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Another wicket, and Bengal breaks for lunch two down. Abhimanyu Easwaran is struck on his left pad by a delivery from Prerak Mankad; it was a delivery that pitched on a good length outside the off-stump and angled into him, and struck him on leg-stump. In all probability, the ball would have been going down the leg side. The umpire gives him out, the DRS is taken after a long consultation with his partner, but to no avail.

Debutant Sudip Gharami perished to Dharmendrasinh Jadeja after a strokeful 26. - VIJAY SONEJI


Saurashtra vs Bengal | Gharami's innings has ended. Jadeja gets him; it's a good-length delivery and Gharami takes a huge stride forward to meet the ball, and instead, gloves it to the short-leg fielder - Vishwarajsinh Jadeja. He goes for a picturesque 26 (41b, 4x4).

Sudip Chatterjee is the new batsman.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | And another. This time, it's a full delivery from left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, and Gharami gently plays a drive past the bowler for a boundary. Again, no muscle, only timing.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | A short, wide delivery from Prerak Mankad, and it's another opportunity for Gharami to collect a boundary. He slaps this delivery through extra-cover, evading all the infielders, a stroke played with minimal movement of the body and no movement of the feet. He moves to 22.

Jaydev Unadkat is bowled. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Unadkat drifts to middle stump, it's a full delivery, and Gharami takes full toll. He flicks to leg for his second boundary. Later in the over, he plays a sweet drive past the mid-off fielder, who gets a hand on it, for another boundary. It was nicely timed. Gharami looks compact and elegant. He moves to 14.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Twenty-year-old Sudip Gharami, who is making his debut in this match, opens alongside the out-of-form Abhimanyu Easwaran. Gharami is off the mark with a flick to leg for two. Easwaran scores a boundary off Chetan Sakariya, the left-arm seamer; his drive flies past the diving gully fielder to the third-man boundary.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | The bowling change does the trick for Bengal. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz comes into the attack, and strikes. The ball pitches on off-stump, it's a good-length delivery, and Unadkat gets a huge stride out to meet the ball. The ball passes his bat and hits the stumps. Finally, Saurashtra is all out.


Saurashtra vs Bengal | An expensive over from Mukesh. A good-length delivery outside off-stump is sliced past gully to the boundary by Jadeja. Then there's a misfield - Anustup Majumdar at mid-on uses his left leg to stop the ball instead of bending to pick it up, and the ball is instead relayed on to Sudip Chatterjee at midwicket - and the batsmen take two. There are also three singles in the over.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Two bouncers from Akash Deep to Jadeja, and then a delivery on a good length. Jadeja decides to shift to leg for an expansive stroke in all probability, but it's a play and a miss, and the ball goes past the off-stump through to the wicketkeeper. It was close; Akash Deep has his hands on his head, and Jadeja smiles. Wriddhimaan Saha, too, grimaced as the ball passed the stumps.

Saurashtra vs Bengal  | Back-to-back boundaries for Jaydev Unadkat. First, off a full delivery from Akash Deep, Unadkat plays a drive with the intention of getting the ball over the in-fielders' heads; he hits the ball uppishly, and duly gets a boundary through extra-cover. Then, he plays a nice cut shot to get a boundary through point. The partnership is now 29.

Jaydev Unadkat cuts. He scored three boundaries in his 20-ball 35. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Four hundred up for Saurashtra. The new ball's taken, and more frustration for Bengal; Jadeja hangs his bat out to a delivery outside the off-stump (Mukesh was the bowler), and steers it via the vacant gully region for a boundary.

Saurashtra vs Bengal | A shout for lbw from Mukesh Kumar, but it's not given. Bowling from around the wicket, Mukesh gets a delivery to angle into the left-handed Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, and it hits his pads on middle-and-leg stump. The ball would perhaps go on to miss the stumps.

In the same over, Jadeja pushes one to mid-off, where Ishan Porel misfields. Mukesh isn't pleased; the batsmen taken a single.

Chirag Jani is bowled. - VIJAY SONEJI

Saurashtra vs Bengal | Another over goes by, Saurashtra moves to 391 for nine! Bengal seamer Mukesh Kumar hasn't got the ball to misbehave off the surface as much as Akash Deep, so Jaydev Unadkat and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja are quite comfortable. The duo is in no hurry to score runs either.

Saurashra vs Bengal | BOWLED! Bengal fast bowler Akash Deep goes through the defence of Chirag Jani, and the leg stump's broken into two! It's bowled on good length but the ball scoots through and Jani watches back in despair. Gone for 14, Saurashtra 387 for nine. Captain Jaydev Unadkat is the last man in, joining Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.


Here's how our reporter Wriddhaayan Bhattacharya summed up the second day's play.

In the first two sessions, the only time Bengal could sniff a dismissal in the otherwise dull day of batting overdose was in the 18th over of the day. Shahbaz Ahmed hit Cheteshwar Pujara’s pads but the batsman was outside the designated ‘three metres’ from the stumps; thereby, cancelling out the chance of a review.

Pujara (66 off 237) and Arpit Vasavada (106 off 287) batted their heart out for 297 minutes on a wicket that was slammed by Bengal coach Arun Lal on Day One. The duo added 142 runs for the sixth wicket in 380 balls. Saurashtra finished at 384 for 8.

Scoring under 2.5 runs per over and striking the ball at a little over 30, the Saurashtra batters literally put everyone to sleep. One could feel for the Bengal fielders who were battling the dry heat for two days at a stretch. At one stage, Pujara’s strike-rate dropped to 22. Here's the rest of the report.


In Rajkot: Saurashtra 384 for 8 (Vasavada 106, Pujara 66) vs Bengal.


Playing XIs:

Saurashtra: Jaydev Unadkat (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson, Arpit Vasavada, Chirag Jani, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Harvik Desai, Avi Barot (wk), Prerak Mankad, Vishwaraj Jadeja, Chetan Sakariya

Bengal: Abhimanyu Easwaran (c), Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Anustup Majumdar, Sudip Chatterjee, Arnab Nandi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, and Sudip Gharami.


The match will be streamed live on Hotstar.