KOLKATA: The second day’s play between Bengal and Tamil Nadu at the Eden Gardens brought to light all the reasons which have ailed the visitors during the current Ranji season. The day’s action saw the scale of power in the pivotal Group A clash firmly tilt to Bengal’s favour.
Resuming at 208 for 5, Tamil Nadu would have expected to last at least till lunch. But the inevitable happened. They added only 38 more run to the tally. Batting failure, which has become synonymous with the two-time champions, robbed them of the chance to garner three points from the tie.
The first to depart was R Sathish in the first over of the day off Ashok Dinda. Rookie Pritam Chakroborty, who did not bowl well on the first day, picked up the next two wickets of L Balaji and Aushik Srinivas in quick succession.
The 84th over of the Tamil Nadu innings was privy to a horrible accident. The fourth ball saw M Mohammed play the ball towards mid-on. R Prasanna, who had just completed his half century, was at the non-striker’s end. He collided mid-pitch with Dinda, who was trying to field off his own bowling. Somehow managing to complete the run, the skipper collapsed.
There were tense scenes reminiscent of the recent Phillip Hughes tragedy. Players of both sides rushed towards the player. Furious fanning by players with towels followed. After a while, Prasanna was stretchered off the field and taken to a local hospital.
He was later released. “It aggravated my back injury. There is a slight bulge in one of the disks. It’s doubtful whether I will be able to take to the field in this match,” said Prasanna, while being helped by teammates onto the team bus at the end of the day. The TN innings folded up for 246 in the 89th over when DindaNatarajan was run out by Dinda.
The rest of the day belonged to the Bengal batsmen as the Tamil Nadu bowlers failed to produce magic on a green-top. The hosts started positively with openers Arindam Das and Rohan Banerjee putting the foundation with a 74-run partnership. Das played fluently. Finding the gaps with relative ease, he hit eight boundaries before he was trapped in front by Balaji for 48. Rohan, however, struggled to find any sort of timing and was finally put out of his misery by debutant Natarajan, caught by K Bharat Shankar at second slip with the score at 102 for two.
Youngster Abhimanyu Easwaran and Manoj Tiwari then played out the remaining overs in glorious fashion. In-form Tiwari, who may not have heard of his omission from the World Cup squad, stamped his class with boundaries all over the ground.
Bengal were then granted a reprieve. Tiwary, on 43, edged one off Mohammed to Bharat Shankar at second slip, but he spilled the regulation offering. It may well turn out to be the turning point in the match. Tiwary did not lose his concentration and brought up his half century with a square cut for four off Natarajan.
Trailing by 63 runs with eight wickets remaining, Bengal are firmly in the driver’s seat.
Kerala Struggle Against Himachal
Dharamsala: Paras Dogra struck his 15th first-class hundred as Himachal Pradesh batted the whole day against Kerala to take first innings lead on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match here on Tuesday.
The hosts were in a commanding 287 for six at stumps in reply to Kerala’s 196 all out.
Dogra, who had scored an unbeaten 230 against Assam last week, hit 16 fours and a six on his way to 115 not out. Apart from Dogra’s knock, handy contributions from Ankush Bains (44), Bipul Sharma (35 batting) and Nikhil Gangta (29) ensured that Himachal finished the day 91 runs ahead in their first innings. For Kerala, Nizar Niyas and U Manukrishnan picked two wickets each.