Abhishek Jhunjhunwala did give his best with a spirited century but Bengal still conceded the first-innings lead to Madhya Pradesh as their Group A Ranji Trophy match headed towards a draw on the third and penultimate day on Monday.
Resuming at overnight 200 for six, Bengal were all out for 299 with Jhunjhunwala scoring 107 from 226 balls, after Madhya Pradesh made 342 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Jhunjhunwala added 66 runs to his overnight score of 41 before he was the ninth batsman out in the post-lunch session.
Bengal handed the hosts a 43-run lead.
Bengal's hopes of overhauling Madhya Pradesh's first innings total were dashed by two quick wickets early in the day with Laxmi Ratan Shukla out for a duck in the third over.
An over later, Shami Ahmed followed Shukla without opening his account, before Jhunjhunwala stitched 83 runs with Veer Pratap Singh (30) for the ninth wicket.
For Madhya Pradesh, Ishwar Pandey grabbed two more wickets, including that of Jhunjhunwala, to complete a five-wicket haul for 87 runs. Anand Rajan took one more wicket today to end with three for 94.
In their second essay, Madhya Pradesh were 135 for three at stumps, with Ankit Sharma and Udit Birla batting on 56 and 60 respectively.
Madhya Pradesh have now taken a lead of 178 runs with seven second-innings wickets in hand.
Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 342 & 135 for 3 (Ankit Sharma 56*, Udit Birla 60*; Shami Ahmed 2 for 45) lead Bengal 299 (Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 107; Ishwar Pandey 5 for 87) by 178 runs.
First Published: November 26, 2012, 11:52 pm