Ranji Trophy: Sharma, Pandey get MP out of the woods

A gritty eighth-wicket stand of 121 runs between Ankit Sharma and Ishwar Pandey helped Madhya Pradesh inch closer to Bengal’s huge first innings score of 475.

Ankit Sharma

Madhya Pradesh's Ankit Sharma is unbeaten on 90 at the end of third day's play against Bengal on Friday.   -  SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

A gritty eighth-wicket stand of 121 runs between Ankit Sharma and Ishwar Pandey helped Madhya Pradesh inch closer to Bengal’s huge first innings score of 475, on the third day of Group A Ranji Trophy match here at the Palam Ground on Friday.

Madhya Pradesh reached 363 for eight, still remaining adrift by 112 runs as Bengal aimed to pick up the first innings lead in a match appearing to be headed for a draw. Ankit Sharma, who remained unbeaten on 90 (131b, 4x7, 3x6), is continuing to give hopes to MP having shared an unbeaten partnership of 76 runs for the ninth wicket with Naman Ojha (40 batting).

Earlier in the innings, Rajat Patidar made a fine 86 (107 b, 4x15, 2x6) as MP started on the overnight score of 19 for one. Patidar and Mukul Raghav shared an 84-run stand for the second wicket after which MP lost six wickets quickly to reach 166 for seven. Ankit Sharma then anchored two good partnerships with Ishwar Pandey (63; 55b, 4x6, 3x6) to steer MP out of the woods and keep it in the hunt.