Abhimanyu Easwaran

Easwaran's unbeaten 93 put Bengal on top against Gujarat

[caption id="attachment_51658" align="aligncenter" width="580"]abhimanyu-easwaran-red-bull-campus-cricket Easwaran remained 93 not out at the end of day 3 against Gujarat. File Pic[/caption]

Internet Desk: Manoj Tiwary led Bengal cricket team has put the defending champions Gujrat in further back foot as they have already taken an over-all lead of 307 runs with nine wickets still in hand at the end of day 3 of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals  on Saturday.

Earlier resuming the day’s play at 180 for 6, veteran Piyush Chawla and Rujul Bhatt couldn’t give much assistance to their side as were all-out on 224 and conceded a healthy lead of 130 runs. Both the players somehow managed to stop the downfall of Gujarat during the final hours on day 2. But Bengal’s pace spearhead took 3 wickets for 48 runs to destroy the defending champions lower order.

In reply, both the Bengal openers Abhimanyu Easwaran and Abhishek Raman started really well for the side and added 99 runs for the first wicket. Raman got out after playing a knock of 33 runs. Though Easwaran continued his great form and remained not out on 93 alongside Writtick Chatterjee (40*). Bengal will be eyeing to bat till Tea on Day 4 to set a target of at least 500 runs for the defending champions.

"When we came out to bat the idea was to bat patiently and get as many runs as we can. The wicket had become a little slow. So there was hardly any carry to the keeper. But it also meant scoring runs was not easy. But me and Writtick made the most of the opportunity that presented itself," Abhimanyu Easwaran said.

Asked the plans for tomorrow, he said: "The idea is to bat as long as possible and score as many runs we can. We would like to put up a big total and sit back and defend it."

On his chance of successive tons, he said that tomorrow was a new day and he will begin from scratch.

Ishan Porel said that the plans that they had for each Gujarat batsman were executed to a perfection. "What worked more was that the bowlers worked as a unit. When a bowler went for wicket, the other supported him with maidens."

On the fact that the wicket is looking pretty benign now, he said: "The key to our success was patience, temperament that it was a five day game and sticking to our plan."

In another match, Medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani took a five-wicket haul to bowl out Kerala for 176 before Vidarbha finished Day 3 on 77 for one, extending their overall lead to 147 runs in a Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match on Saturday.

At stumps, captain Faiz Fazal was unbeaten on 51, while Akshay Wakhare was on seven. Resuming on 32 for 2, Kerala kept losing wickets at regular interval in reply to Vidarbha's first-innings total of 246 with Gurbani (5/38 in 14 overs) wreaking havoc.

In another encounter, Shreyas Gopal compiled his fourth hundred in first class cricket, an unbeaten 150, as Karnataka piled on a massive first innings total of 570 to take a huge 397-run lead against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy quarter final on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Bengaluru-born leg-spin bowling all rounder faced 274 balls and struck 11 fours to become the lone centurion in the Karnataka first innings that saw four other batsmen cross the 50-run mark, including no. 11 Arvind Sreenath (51), without reaching three figures.

Brief scores

Bengal 354 & 177 for 1 (Abhishek Kumar Raman 33, Abhimanyu Eswaran 93*; Rujul Bhatt 1 for 32) lead Gujarat 224 (Bhargav Merai 67, Parthiv Patel 47, Rujul Bhatt 32, Piyush Chawla 43; Ashok Dinda 3 for 48, Ishan Porel 3 for 64, Boddupalli Amit 3 for 53) by 307 runs.

Vidarbha: 246 & 77 for 1 in 30 overs (Faiz Fazal 51 batting).

Kerala 1st innings: 176 all out in 61.5 overs (Jalaj Saxena 40, Sanju Samson 32; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/38).

Mumbai: 173 and 120 for 3 (S Yadav not out 55, A Parkar not out 3; K Gowtham 2 for 30)

Karnataka: 570 all out (M Agarwal 78, K Abbas 50, C M Gautam 79, S Gopal 150 not out, S Arvind 51; Shivam Malhotra 3 for 97, Shivam Dube 5 for 98).

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