Delhi pacers tighten screws on Bengal

Published: Thursday, December 23, 2004, 1:23 [IST]
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New Delhi:Delhi pacers exploited favourable conditions to the full and restricted Bengal to a modest 229/7 on the opening day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Elite division Group A match at the Eden Gardens here today.

Left arm pacer Kunal Lal (3/49) bowled with variation and got admirable support from Indian team discard Amit Bhandari (2/50) on a grassy wicket that afforded some assistance to the medium pacers as Bengal lost wickets at regular intervals to hand over the opening day honours to the visitors.

Ritam Kundu (12) and S S Paul (0) were at the crease when play was called off due to bad light.

Bengal skipper Rohan Gavaskar, who elected to bat after winning the toss, struck a fine 68 (163m, 113b, 8x4) to give some respectability to the hosts innings after Deep Dasgupta (5) and debutant Rakesh Krishnan (13) departed early and Arindam Das (35; 108m, 73b, 6x4) failed to convert a promising start into a big score.

Gavaskar and Subhomoy Das tried to salvage the situation as they played confidently adding 85 runs for the fourth wicket in a little over two hours before Gavaskar was trapped leg before by Delhi skipper Ajay Jadeja.

Das and L R Shukla (33) tried to seize the initiative during a brief 47-run stand, but the hosts got a rude jolt shortly after tea when Das (47; 182 m, 115b, 6x4) had to retire due to a back problem.

This triggered a collapse as newcomer Manoj Tewari (8) got run out, Bhandari shattered Shukla's stumps, while Murtaza Lodhgar (12) was adjudged leg before to Lal.

Brief score : Bengal first innings 229/7 (R Gavaskar 68, S Das retd hurt 47; K Lal 3/49).

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