February 9, 2002

Bengal set foundation for victory on fifth day

Staff Reporter

Building further on a first-innings lead of 32 runs, Bengal's batsmen took their side to a position of considerable strength at the end of the fourth day's play in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Gujarat at the Eden Gardens.

Opener Amitava Chakraborty was the only batsman on the day to miss out on a good score. He departed for 10, with the score on 16, but thereafter Gujarat's bowlers found wickets hard to come by. Deep Dasgupta, opening the innings for the national Test side, played calmly in the same role for his state side, making 84 off 185 balls with 13 fours.

Devang Gandhi, coming in at number three, also chipped in with a score in the 80s, scoring 82 of 163 balls before falling with the score on 208. The run-fest did not stop there, however, as skipper Rohan Gavaskar and Subhomoy Das took Bengal to 279/3 at the close of play.

At stumps, Bengal had an overall read of 311 runs, with Gavaskar batting on 74 off 81 balls and Das unbeaten on 21. With Sourav Ganguly and first-innings centurion Sanjib Sanyal to come, Gujarat will have to fight hard for a victory, for that is the only result that will get them into the semi-finals.