Xtra Time Web Desk: Arpit Vasavada (81 not out), Chirag Jani (57 not out) and Sheldon Jackson (59) scored half-centuries as Saurashtra has taken a vital first innings lead against Bengal on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy final at Eden Gardens on Friday. After bowling out Bengal for 174 in their first innings, Saurashtra were in a strong position at 317/5 at stumps on Day 2 with a crucial 143-run lead in their first innings.
Bengal pacers Ishan Porel (2-72), Mukesh Kumar (2-83) and Akashdeep Singh (1-78) toiled hard to pick the wickets.
Earlier, resuming the day from overnight score of 81/2, the combination of Hardik Desai (50) and Chetan Sakariya (8) managed to add just 20 runs in the morning before Mukesh got rid of Hardik to reduce the visitors to 101/3.
The first breakthrough made way for another as Ishan Porel cleaned up nightwatchman Sakariya with Saurashtra’s score at 109/4.
Thereafter, incoming in-form batters Jackson and Vasavada combined perfectly to add a 95-run partnership for the fifth wicket as Saurashtra went past the home side to take a vital lead.
Soon after his half-century, Jackson, looking to up the scoring rate, fell to Ishan to bring a huge sigh of relief in the Bengal camp.
But Chirag, who came in with team at 204/5, played sensibly along with Vasavada to add an unbeaten 113-run stand for the sixth wicket to take team to a strong position at the end of the day’s play.