Abishek Porel capitalises with fifty as Bengal post 438 and end second day ahead
Madhya Pradesh lost both openers in the final session, ending 382 behind the visitors' first-innings total
Madhya Pradesh 56 for 2 (Jain 17*, Agarwal 4*, Porel 1-4) trail Bengal 438 (Majumdar 120, Gharami 112, Kartikeya 3-95) by 382 runs
Bengal's later middle-order steel helped them build on hundreds from Anustup Majumdar and Sudeep Gharami, as they took control of the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy semi-final against defending champions MP in Indore. Resuming on 307 for 4, Bengal were bowled out for 438, but the twin hundreds during the course of a mammoth 241-run third-wicket stand helped them gain the overall advantage.
In reply, MP were 56 for 2 before the close of play on the second day. Yash Dubey was out caught behind off Akash Deep, while Himanshu Mantri was caught in the slips off Ishan Porel. Saransh Jain and nightwatcher Anubhav Agarwal held fort in the dying moments of play to ensure the hosts had no further damage on a surface that was slowly beginning to wear down.
Bengal's innings stuttered early on day two as they lost Shahbaz Ahmed for 14. Manoj Tiwary, the captain, and Abishek Porel, the wicketkeeper, then put together 78 for the sixth wicket before Tiwary's downfall brought about a lower-order collapse.
Bengal lost their last five wickets for just 37 runs, with Kumar Kartikeya, MP's left-arm spinner, picking up three of those wickets to turn an otherwise wicketless spell into figures of 3 for 95 in 36.3 overs. The fast-bowling pair of Anubhav Agarwal and Gaurav Yadav picked up four wickets between them, while Avesh Khan proved to be a tad expensive as well as ineffective, ending with figures of 1 for 111 in 31 overs.
With the odd delivery jumping on the batters, especially off a length off spinners, batting is likely to get progressively tougher as the game progresses, with MP still 382 behind Bengal's first-innings total.