January 25, 2002

Bengal reply off to a solid start

Staff Reporter

A half-century from Deep Dasgupta put Bengal on course for the firstinnings lead against Rajasthan at the end of the second day's play at the KL Saini Ground, Jaipur. Dasgupta's, who made 57, and former India opener Devang Gandhi, who made an unbeaten forty, saw the visitors to 122 for two in reply to Rajasthan's healthy 321.

Earlier in the day, Rajasthan added 79 runs to their overnight score of 242 for five, courtesy a patient unbeaten forty from wicket-keeper Rohit Jhalani. The rest of the lower-order batsmen struggled against Bengal's veteran left-arm spinner Utpal Chatterjee. Chatterjee snared four batsmen and was the the pick of the bowlers on the day.

Bengal, in reply, lost Nikhil Haldipur early. But his opening partner Dasgupta and Gandhi combined well to put on 86 for the second wicket before Dasgupta was dismissed for a patient 57 off 129 balls made with the aid of five fours. When stumps were drawn, Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar, batting on 5, was keeping Gandhi company.