Bengal 455 (Chatterjee 192, Goswami 87, Swapnil 5-99) and 246 for 9 dec (Shukla 105*, Hooda 3-39) drew with Baroda 354 (Hooda 114, Devdhar 87, Dinda 3-92)
With little relevance in terms of points, both Baroda and Bengal made good use of game time on the final day of the Ranji Trophy opener at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara. While Baroda's bowlers put up a far better display than the first innings, Bengal captain Laxmi Shukla stole the show with a quickfire century.
Bengal began the day at 8 for 1, with an overall lead of 109 but there wasn't enough time for either team to force a win. That didn't stop Baroda's bowlers, led by Munaf Patel, from going hard at the Bengal batsmen in the first session. The intensity and the energy levels were much higher than on the first morning and the relentless charge resulted in a wicket as Sudip Chatterjee played a delivery from Munaf on to his stumps. Chatterjee was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 192 in the first innings.
In the next over, Gagandeep Singh trapped opener Rohan Banerjee lbw and when Manoj Tiwary mis-timed a lofted drive to see Deepak Hooda complete a catch running backward six overs later, Bengal's score read 55 for 4.
Shreevats Goswami then paired with debutant Subhajit Banerjee to avoid a collapse. They added 50 runs for the fifth wicket before Goswami misread a ball from Yusuf Pathan, shouldered it, and saw the ball thud into the stumps.
In came Shukla, who had demoted himself to No 7 after suffering from indigestion in the morning. The allrounder struck the Baroda spinners to all corners of the ground with ease. While Shukla was inching closer to his ninth first-class hundred, debutant Deepak Hooda and left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh struck three times in eight balls to bring last man Iresh Saxena to the crease.
Shukla was on 87 then and he wasted no time in racing to a century, completing it with successive twos off Hooda. He brought up the milestone off 106 balls and six overs after he got there, the teams decided to shake hands.