Internet Desk: Poor shot selection by Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary and star left-hand batsman Sudeep Chatterjee helped Delhi to get back in the game as Bengal has managed to reach 269 for 7 on day one of the Ranji Trophy semi-final at Pune’s MCA Stadium today.
On a surface which had nothing extra for the bowlers, Bengal stated well but couldn’t get the job done at the end of the day’s play.
Manoj Tiwary & Co. were nicely placed on 200 for 3 when they lost two crucial wickets of their skipper and vice-captain Sudeep Chatterjee. They both threw their wickets against Manan’s two of very ordinary deliveries.
After adding 68 for the fourth wicket, Tiwary who was batting on 30, decided to give Manan the charge.
Left-arm spinner Manan Sharma bowled a flightier delivery to Manoj, he tried to hit a six by stepping out of the crease. But unfortunately he totally mistimed the shot and Himmat Singh took an easy catch at mid-on.
In Manan’s next over he bowled a short delivery which was outside the off stump, Sudip took a stance on his leg stump to improvise a square-cut but substitute Unmukt Chand took his catch at point region.
Chatterjee’s 162 ball innings had 10 fours but he lost out on a golden opportunity to prove his mettle on a big stage with national selector Sarandeep Singh in attendance.
He also shared 78 runs for the third wicket with Writtick Chatterjee (47) with the latter being adjudged leg before off Vikas Tokas.
More importantly, the momentum shifted in favour of Delhi once Manoj and Chatterjee were gone.
Anushtup Majumdar (32) was graceful till he was at the crease with some lovely flick shots.
Just 1 over ahead of the end of day’s play B.Amit too played a poor shot from Kulwant Khejroliya’s short pitch delivery which was well outside the off-stump. He tried to slash it for a six but was caught by Manan Sharma at Deep point. National selector Sarandeep Singh too was present today to watch the game. As per sources he told to the close once that, there was no venom in the pitch which can put a batsman in trouble, but the Bengal batsmen threw their wickets away to put them in danger.
On being asked about taking two crucial wickets of Manoj Tiwary and Sudeep Chatterjee, Manan replied,” “I knew Manoj loves to hit spinners over the top. But I didn’t know that he would give me the charge so soon. About Sudeep, I can say there are times when even good balls don’t get us wickets. So I won’t mind if that ball got me one,”
Former India skipper and CAB president Sourav Ganguly will join the squad later in the night today. It would be interesting to see whether his pep-talks for next four days help Bengal to get back in the game. At first the Bengal would be eyeing to reach a respectable total of 350 runs and they would be heavily relying on the pace-duo of Mohammad Shami and Ashoke Dinda after that.
In another semi-final, Abhimanyu Mithun claimed a third five-for of the season as Vidarbha collapsed for 185 before Karnataka were left reeling at 36 for three on the opening day.
Mithun returned with brilliant figures of 16-6-45-5, his 11th five-wicket haul, and was finely aided by skipper R Vinay Kumar (2/36) as Karnataka bundled out Vidarbha under 200 in 61.4 overs.
But the eight-time Ranji champions were tottering at 36 for three in 14 overs when bad light stopped play.
Karnataka still trail Vidarbha by 149 runs with four days play still remaining.
Young Rajneesh Gurbani (2/9) put up a fine display of pace bowling under the shadow of Umesh Yadav (1/22) as 13 wickets fell on the eventful opening day on a green Eden top.
At close vice-captain Karun Nair was batting on six alongside wicketkeeper batsman CM Gautam (9).
Brief Scores: Bengal 273/7 in 87 overs (Sudeep Chatterjee 83, Writtick Chatterjee 47, Manan Sharma 2/37, Navdeep Saini 2/45) vs Delhi.
Vidarbha: 185 all out in 61.4 overs (Aditya Sarwate 47; Abhimanyu Mithun 5/45) vs Karnataka: 36/3 in 14 overs.