Atitkar's century propels Maharashtra

Atitkar's century propels Maharashtra


 Middle-order batsman Sangram Atitkar hammered a listless Bengal attack into submission with an unbeaten 168 as Maharashtra took a mammoth first innings lead to set sights on an innings victory by stumps on the second day of Ranji Trophy semifinal here on Sunday.

After their batsmen were bowled out for a paltry 114 — their lowest score in the current campaign, the Bengal bowlers fared no better as Maharashtra scored an imposing 455 in their first innings. This is incidentally the highest score conceded by Ashok Dinda and Co this season.

After taking a massive 341-run lead, Maharashtra bowlers came out all guns blazing as they reduced Bengal to 16 for one in the five overs.

The Bengal batsmen need another 326 runs to avoid innings defeat which looks imminent at the moment after left-arm seamer Samad Fallah again dismissed opener Koushik Ghosh (9). Arindam Das (7) was at the other end.

In a single match, Bengal have scored their lowest total and conceded their highest runs which is not a statistic that will please their fans.

The Maharashtra batsmen led by Atitkar showed a lot of positive intent on the day as they took apart the Bengal bowling scoring their runs at a rate of above 3.5 runs per over.

After skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (3/76) dismissed his counterpart Rohit Motwani (8) with the team total reading 164 for five, Bengal bowlers suddenly lost grip of the match.

BENGAL (I Innings): 114 all out

MAHARASHTRA (I Innings): Harshad Khadiwale b Shukla 28, Chirag Khurana c Saha b Dinda 48, Vija Zol lbw Shukla 1, Kedar Jadhav c & b Dinda 40, Ankit Bawne c Sandipan b Dinda 89, Rohit Motwani lbw Shukla 8, Sangram Atitkar b Paul 168, Akshay Darekar c Sandipan b Sarkar 10, Anupam Sanklecha c Saha b Sarkar 52, Domnic Joseph b Paul 4, Samad Fallah (not out) 4. Extras (B-1, NB-2) 3. Total (all out, 126.3 overs) 455.

Fall of wickets: 1-78, 2-78, 3-91, 4-141, 5-164, 6-277, 7-328, 8-431, 9-437.
Bowling: Ashok Dinda 30-7-114-3, Sourav Sarkar 27.3-6-105-2, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 27-4-76-3, Shib Paul 19-5-54-2, Saurashish Lahiri 11-1-48-0, Sandipan Das 2-0-16-0, Koushik Ghosh 7-2-14-0, Abhimanyu Easwaran 3-0-27-0.
BENGAL (II Innings): Koushik Ghosh c Khurana b Fallah 9, Arindam Das (batting) 7. Total (for 1 wkt, 4.5 overs) 16.

Fall of wicket: 1-16.

Bowling: Samad Fallah 2.5-0-7-1, Anupam Sanklecha 1-0-8-0, Domnic Joseph 1-0-1-0.

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