Kolkata: Bengal continued to tighten their grip over Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash after they gained a handy 130-run lead and followed it up with a splendid batting display on Saturday at the Sawai Man Singh stadium.
Gujarat began the day under pressure as they had lost six wickets still trailing by 174 runs and the Bengal bowlers continued to do the good work they had done on the second day. Pradipta Pramanik provided the first wicket of the day as he sent back Rujul Bhatt for a stubborn 32. The wickets continued to fall as their innings eventually ended at 224. Ishan Porel, Ashoke Dinda and Boddupalli Amit scalped three wickets each.
The Manoj Tiwary led side, now with a 130-run lead came out all guns blazing with the willow as openers Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran laid the platform with a strong 99-run stand. Raman however failed to capitalise on his good start after Bhatt dismissed for 33 runs but Easwaran, who had made a gritty 129 in the first innings once again looked in good touch as he remained unbeaten on 93 runs of 218 balls at the end of the day’s play. Writtick Chatterjee is currently accompanying him at the crease with a supportive 40-run knock.
Jaipur: Bengal 177/1 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 93 n.o, Writtick Chatterjee 40 n.o; Rujul Bhatt 1/35) lead Gujarat 224 all out ( Bhargav Merai 67, Parthiv Patel 47; Ashoke Dinda 3/48) by 307 runs.
Vijayawada: Madhya Pradesh 338 all out and 47/2 (Shubham Sharma 25 n.o, Ankit Dane 16; Vikas Tokas 1/19) trail Delhi 405 all out (Kunal Chandela 81, Dhruv Shorey 78; Mihir Hirwani 5/89) by 20 runs.
Nagpur: Mumbai 173 all out and 120/3 (Suryakumar Yadav 55 n.o, Akhil Herwadkar 27; Krishnappa Gowtham 2/30) trail Karnataka 570 all out (Shreyas Gopal 150, CM Gautam 79; Shivam Dubey 5/98) by 277 runs.
Surat: Vidarbha 246 all out and 77/1 (Faiz Fazal 51 n.o, Sanjay Ramaswamy 14; Jalaj Saxena 1/17) lead Kerala 176 all out (Jalaj Saxena 40, Sanju Samson 32; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/38) by 147 runs.