Sudip Chatterjee missed out on a century on Day 1 © PTI
Sudip Chatterjee missed out on a century on Day 1 © PTI

Bengal and Delhi  end opening day of the first semi-final of Ranji Trophy 2017-18 with the latter at 269 for 7. It was an evenly-poised day, before Bengal’s lower order collapse handed momentum to Delhi.  After Sudip Chatterjee was denied a hundred, Bengal lost plot with Navdeep Saini and Manan Sharma striking at regular breaks.

Electing to bat at MCA stadium Pune, Bengal lost in-form openers Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran soon. Easwaran couldn’t follow on from his twin centuries in the quarter-final versus Gujarat and fell for 4. Abhishek and Sudip formed a good partnership to keep Delhi bowlers at bay in the early phase of first session. Nonetheless, Abhishek handed a simple return catch to Vikar Mishra on 36.

Writtick Chatterjee and Sudip took the innings forward thereon. Writtick was in sublime touch, striking at over 50. He, however, departed for 47. Skipper Manoj Tiwary and Anustup Majumdar settled soon, but departed to Manan and Navdeep respectively. Amidst the fall of wickets, Sudip lost his concentration on 83.

Shreevats Goswami, unbeaten on 19, has a task in hand on Monday. A vital first-innings score will give enough cushion to Ashok Dinda and Mohammed Shami. For that to happen, Goswami has to hog maximum strike.

Did You Know: Bengal did not pick Wriddhiman Saha for the semi-final clash. Saha was avalibale for selection after being free from national duty. Interestingly, in his last appearance, Saha scored a fighting 97 against the strong Vidarbha side at Kalyani. According to reports that surfaced later, Saha was down with fever.

Brief scores

Bengal 269 for 7 (Abhishek Raman 36, Sudip Chatterjee 83, Writtick Chatterjee 47, Shreevats Goswami 19*; Manan Sharma 2 for 37, Navdeep Saini 2 for 45) vs Delhi