Pune: The Delhi bowlers led by Manan Sharma and Navdeep Saini fought back later in the end to have an edge over Bengal at the end of the first day’s play in the Ranji Trophy semi-final in Pune on Sunday.
Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary won the toss and opted to bat first. But opener Abhimanyu Easwaran couldn’t continue his fine form from the last match as he fell for just 4 runs. His partner, the left-handed Abhishek Raman too got off to a good start and looked well set for a good score while batting on 36 but threw away his wicket, thereby handing Delhi the advantage.
But a solid 78-run stand between double centurion from last match Writtick Chatterjee and a returning Sudip Chatterjee helped the Bengal innings get back on track. Sudip, deserves special mention here as after failing it to make it to the playing XI in the last game due to illness, he looked rock solid and played a belligerent 83-run innings, that was the only bright spot for Bengal on the first day.
The left-hander was comfortable in playing his drives and flicks as he hit a total of 10 fours in his 162-ball knock. Anustup Majumdar, who had been in sublime form of late failed to capitalise after making 32 from 60 deliveries after Saini went through his defenses. At the close of play, Shreevats Goswami was batting on 19 with Aamir Gani on four.
In the other semi-final, it was Karnataka who dominated proceedings in the first innings as led by a magnificent five-wicket haul from Abhimanyu Mithun, they skittled out Vidarbha for just 185 runs.
Aditya Sarwate was the top-scorer with 47 runs while Vinay Kumar scalped two wickets. Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal and Sreenath Aravind got one wicket each.
But Vidarbha fought back as Rajneesh Gurbani and Umesh Yadav got two and one wicket each as Karnataka ended the day at 36/3.
Pune: Bengal 269/7 (Sudip Chatterjee 83, Writtick Chatterjee 47; Manan Sharma 2/37) vs Delhi
Kolkata: Karnataka 36/3 (Mayank Agarwal 15, Karun Nair 6 n.o; Rajneesh Gurbani 2/9) trail Vidarbha (Aditya Sarwate 47, Wasim Jaffer 39; Abhimanyu Mithun 5/45) by 149 runs.