Bengal’s youth and expertise got here to the fore as Sudip Gharami (112, 213b, 12×4, 2×6) and Anustup Majumdar (120, 206b, 13×4, 1×6) pissed off defending champion Madhya Pradesh with a 241-run partnership for the third wicket on the primary day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal right here on Wednesday.
Facing an opposition that thwarted Bengal’s marketing campaign on the identical stage final season, Gharami and Majumdar noticed off Gaurav Yadav and Anubhav Agarwal within the first session, braved a short-ball ploy from Avesh Khan and rode out the spin menace of Saransh Jain and Kumar Kartikeya.
However, each perished inside two overs of the onset of the second new ball. Avesh castled Majumdar with a yorker that tailed away and Anubhav trapped Gharami in entrance with one which seamed in to enthuse the smattering of followers and guarantee they return tomorrow with Bengal 307 for 4 at Stumps.
But the house crowd’s celebration got here solely after a 414-ball wait.
Meanwhile, Majumdar fittingly notched up his thirteenth First-Class hundred off 176 balls with a pull to deep square-leg, a shot he first signalled his intent with, within the morning, and employed skillfully all through the day, notably in opposition to Avesh.
The 38-year-old Anustup celebrated the landmark by wryly sticking his taped left thumb out, nonetheless sore from the knock it acquired within the last league sport in opposition to Odisha.
Moments later, Gharami struck his 183-ball century with a daring reverse sweep, an possibility he hadn’t explored till that time within the day.
The 23-year-old had pounced on the fuller deliveries and innocuous half-volleys with crisp drives and deft flicks of the toes. It helped that the Madhya Pradesh’s pacers erred of their traces, veering too straight and on the pads in an try and deliver the packed leg-side area into play.
On a pitch which supplied little tempo or bounce, there was a case for pitching the ball as much as the batters.
After all, Gaurav and Anubhav had breached the defence of Abhimanyu Easwaran and Karan Lal, respectively, with yorker-length deliveries that formed in late.
But these two rippers, which got here in a span of 4 deliveries, had been anomalies in an effort marred by inaccuracy. Left-arm spinner Kartikeya began proceedings on a day that was wicketless for the tweakers and was taken off after three overs.
With a beneficiant layer of grass operating by means of the center of the pitch, Avesh and Gaurav had been tempted to bowl back-of-a-length. But openers Abhimanyu and Lal drove and pushed off the backfoot with ease and rushed to 50 in 10.2 overs after Bengal opted to bat.
The spinners too had been largely ineffective, save for Kartikeya sometimes extracting awry bounce and Jain inducing two false photographs from Gharami, who was dropped on 26 and 76 off his bowling.
While the brand new ball has given MP a foothold, captain Manoj Tiwary and Shahbaz Ahmed maintain the promise of burying the house staff underneath a mountain of runs.
Bengal 307/4 (Anustup Majumdar 120, Sudip Gharami 112; Anubhav Agarwal 2/21, Gaurav Yadav 1/37) vs Madhya Pradesh.
Source web site: sportstar.thehindu.com