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Bengal enforce crucial first innings lead
15th October 2016
Bengal bowlers toiled hard on a placid pitch to enforce a crucial 56-run first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh on the third day of the Ranji trophy match at the SMS stadium in Jaipur. Chasing Bengal's 466, the UP innings folded up for 410. At stumps on third day Bengal added 30 runs in the second innings to stretch the lead to 86 without any damage.
Resuming on the overnight score of 123 for 3, Uttar Pradesh carried on their innings with patience, before Bengal's Sayan Mandal took the wicket of S. Khan on 85. However, Umesh Sharma (136), the linchpin of UP batting, carried on to score a fine century before Pragyan Ojha got the crucial breakthrough reducing them to 321 for 7.
“It was a tough day for the bowlers on a wicket that was not doing much. But the bowlers bowled really well to get them out within this total. The wicket of S Khan on that stage was crucial. But we were always confident,” said Pragyan Ojha, to CAB media, who took two wickets on the day.
A.Gani was among the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 72 runs in his 22 overs.
At the end of the day's play Bengal had notched up 30 runs for no loss. Ton up Abhimanyu Easwaran on 21and Sayan Sekhar Mandal on 9 will take forward Bengal's gameplan tomorrow.
Asked about the last day's plans, skipper Manoj Tiwary said, “The pitch slowed down during the dying hours of the day. Tomorrow we need to bat well and get a healthy lead on the board".
About today's performance, "It was tough day for the bowlers, but they did really well to take the wickets at regular intervals and give a crucial first innings lead," Tiwary concluded.

Sayan Banerjee