Bengal hold fighting Himachal, grab 3 vital points
23rd December 2022
Himachal Pradesh put up a fighting performance but Bengal held their nerves to eventually earn a vital first innings lead after their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A clash at the Eden on Friday ended in a draw.
Chasing a challenging 472 to win, Himachal were positive in their approach but the target was too tall for the visitors to chase it down as they ended the fourth and final day's play at 348/4 in their second innings.
Prashant Chopra played a fine 109 along with Ankit Kalsi (82).
For Bengal, despite all the bowlers putting in their best effort, only Sayan Shekhar Mandal (2-29) and Akash Deep (1-86) were able to chip in with few wickets.
Earlier, Bengal posted 310 in their first innings and then bundled out Himachal for just 130 to take a crucial first innings lead.
Resuming the day from overnight score of 79/1, Himachal began the proceedings positively.
While Bengal bowlers looked to sneak in with some quick wickets, Himachal batsmen had other plans.
Chopra and Ankit played a counter-attacking innings to add 146-run partnership for the second wicket in no time.
After the dismissal of Ankit, Amit Kumar came in with the same mindset and played a 52-ball 38 smashing seven fours and one six before he was forced to retire hurt after taking a blow on his head.
Later he was sent for CT Scan but according to his teammates he was doing fine at the end of the day.
Chopra, on the other hand, kept his hot form going as he brought up his second century of the Ranji season in style.
Enroute his fine 205-ball innings, Chopra struck 15 fours before he was dismissed to leave Himachal at 265/3.
Despite Bengal bowlers giving in their best, Himachal skipper Rishi Dhawan stood firm adding 31 runs to take team past 300-run mark.
After his dismissal, Akash Vasisht (28) and Ekant Sen (19) reminded unbeaten at the end of day's play.
The draw helped Bengal earn crucial three points. They will next travel to Sovima to take on Nagaland in their third match on Tuesday.
Speaking after the day's play, skipper Manoj Tiwary said," The pitch did favour the batsmen today but we could have done better in the first session to get some quick wickets. We gave our best, but these things are part and parcel of the game. We now hope to get a good batting friendly pitch against Nagaland and be able to win the match there."
CAB MEDIA DESK