Sudip, Abhimanyu shine for Bengal

Youngsters Sudip Chatterjee and Abhimanyu Easwaran showed maturity beyond years with a brilliant 163-run partnership before another familiar middle-order collapse saw Bengal end the day at 274 for eight against former champions Railways in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Wednesday.

Left-hander Sudeep (96) played a responsible knock and was ably supported by right-hander Easwaran (65) as they resurrected the innings after the hosts lost couple of early wickets, wobbling at 3 for two. 

In the middle-order, only reserve Test specialist Wriddhiman Saha (60 batting) managed a good score as he added 41 runs for the undefeated ninth wicket stand with Ashok Dinda (17 batting), an alliance that helped Bengal to move past the 250-run mark. 

From a comfortable 166 for two, Bengal were reduced to 233 for eight, losing six wickets for 67 runs. Skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (17), veteran Sourashish Lahiri (2), and th eyoung Writtick Chatterjee (0) were out cheaply.

Put into bat in seamer-friendly conditions, in-form pacer Anureet Singh (4/75) rocked the Bengal top-order in his very second over, cleaning up Arindam Das (2) and Subhamoy Das (0) with successive balls.

At three for two, 22-year-old Sudip joined 18-year-old Easwaran as they steadied the ship. Easwaran in his 191-ball knock hit 10 fours while the talented Sudip missed out on his maiden first-class ton hitting 96 off 176 balls with 14 fours. But Bengal couldn’t exactly build on that big stand. 

SCOREBOARD

BENGAL (I Innings): Abhimanyu Easwaran c Rawat b Karn 65, Arindam Das b Anureet 2, Subhomoy Das b Anureet 0, Sudip Chatterjee c Rawat b Anureet 96, Wriddhiman Saha (batting) 59, LR Shukla c Rawat b Kartik 17, Writtick Chatterjee c Rawat b Anureet 0, Saurasish Lahiri  c Shukla b Kartik 2, Sourav Sarkar (run out) 4, Ashok Dinda (batting) 17. Extras (B-4, LB-3, W-1, NB-3) 11. Total (for 8 wkts, 90 overs) 273. Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-3, 3-166, 4-190, 5-211, 6-212, 7-217, 8-233.Bowling: Anureet Singh 28.2-6-75-4, Krishnakant Upadhyay 20-6-64-0, Ranjitkumar Mali 10-4-33-0, Karn Sharma 13.4-4-37-1, Murali Kartik 18-3-57-2.

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