Bengal hit back after being shot out

Nineteen wickets tumbled on the second day of the East Zone Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Orissa at the Eden Gardens on Friday

Sakyasen Mittra
Nineteen wickets tumbled on the second day of the East Zone Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Orissa at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Orissa were dismissed for 255 after resuming at their overnight score of 251 for eight. However, Bengal were then shot out for 117. They managed to avoid the follow on because of 19 extras. But the hosts hit back immediately to have Orissa reeling at 82 for seven when stumps were drawn due to bad light with 14.1 overs still remaining.
It must be said that the reasons for the dismal batting failure of the batsmen of both sides were the two umpires Vineet Gupte and Umesh Dubey from Mumbai. In the Bengal innings it was Gupte who gave three decisions that were appalling. Amongst them was the leg before of Sourav Ganguly. And when Orissa batted, the two again gave some controversial decisions. Amongst them were the leg before decisions against Sanjay Raul, Rashmi Ranjan Parida and Gautam Gopal.
However, the umpiring cannot take away any credit from Debashis Mohanty. The lanky medium fast bowler bowled with supreme control to scalp six Bengal batsmen. He maintained the right line and length and started the slide by having Amitava Bannerjee caught behind with a ball that seamed and moved away. Bannerjee could only glove it.
Except for Srikkanth Kalyani, none of the Bengal batsmen demonstrated any effort to tackle Mohanty and his partner Ajay Barik. The two moved the ball both ways and always had the batsmen guessing. Only Kalyani with 39 (9x4) showed the resolve to stay in the middle. The result was that the Bengal innings lasted just 35.3 overs and 183 minutes.
When Orissa batted, Ganguly removed P.Das with his second ball with the wicketkeeper picking up a low catch. Then Parida was declared leg before four balls later to have Orissa reeling. Raul and Shiv Sundar Das looked like repairing the innings. But the former fell to another dubious leg before decision given by Umesh Dubey off the bowling of Utpal Chatterjee. In the next over, Das was run out to a brilliant throw by Wrichik Mazumdar from point. Then Ganguly set the hook shot trap for P. Mallick and the latter duly obliged. The catch was brilliantly taken by Sourashis Lahiri who ran 10 metres in from the fence and then dived forward. Orissa were 45 for five and Bengal were right back in the match. However, the same fielder was guilty of dropping an easy catch of Ganguly with the Orissa total at 69. The batsman to escape was S.Satpathy. However, Utpal Chatterjee struck two more blows late in the match to keep Bengal in the hunt.