Ranji Trophy: Gutsy Sudip Chatterjee guides Bengal to comfortable position

Sudip Chatterjee, who had to retire hurt on the opening day after pulling his hamstring, took guard again on Monday after Tamil Nadu removed overnight batsmen Agniv Pan, bowled by T. Natarajan.

Bengal-batsman-Sudip-Chatterjee

Despite struggling to move his feet and just limping across the 22 yards, Sudip Chatterjee remained steadfast in his defense as he patiently constructed his innings.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Battling hamstring issues throughout, Sudip Chatterjee produced a fighting century (100, 248b, 9x4) to help Bengal post a total of 337 in its first innings against Tamil Nadu on the second day here on Monday.

>SCORECARD

Chatterjee, who had to retire hurt on the opening day after pulling his hamstring, took guard again on Monday after Tamil Nadu removed overnight batsmen Agniv Pan, bowled by T. Natarajan.

Despite struggling to move his feet and just limping across the 22 yards, Chatterjee remained steadfast in his defense as he patiently constructed his innings.

Resuming on 34, he started off briskly scoring four boundaries in quick time to reach his fifty starting with a crisp drive straight down the ground off Aswin Crist to get going. The left-handed batsman reached fifty for the fourth time in as many matches with a boundary to the leg side off Vignesh to take to him to 52.

Shreevats Goswami too struck a few boundaries as the duo put together 44 runs from 67 balls for the fifth-wicket before he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Jagadeesan, who took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his left off Vignesh.

However, after reaching his half-century, Chatterjee slowed down as he made only 10 runs over the next 20 overs before Ashoke Dinda gave a boost to the scoring rate after lunch.

With the team needing him to stay till the end, the 25-year-old Chatterjee ignored the obvious discomfort of his hamstring by rotating the strike and resisting the temptation to play big shots. After reaching his fifty, Chatterjee only scored three boundaries.

Speaking about the reason behind slowing down after getting his half-century, Chatterjee said, "We didn't have wickets in hand. It was important to stretch my innings for as long as possible. I knew I had to bat with the bowlers so I was trying to stay focused and bat long. When I was batting, the fielders were at the boundaries so I had to focus on taking singles and couples. It wasn't easy at all but I tried to dig in deep and focus really hard."

For Tamil Nadu, Vignesh was the most successful bowler on the day picking four wickets as he cleaned up the lower-order. In response, Tamil Nadu ended the day at 60 for one with skipper Abhinav Mukund and Kaushik Gandhi at the crease. Washington Sundar, who returned to the side after missing the last game, failed again — missing a Dinda delivery that swung into him and removed his middle stump.