Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live blog of the fourth and final day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Group A match between Maharashtra and Bengal in Pune on Wednesday. Both the teams are in the mid table,, with Bengal at no. four spot with 16 points from five games, including a win and four draws, while Maharashtra are at the no. six spot with nine points from five games, including a couple of losses and three draws. A win here for any of the teams would definitely see them rising a good place above in the table and Bengal looks most certain to do so, currently.

Rahul Tripathi (116) hit his third first class century and shared an unbeaten 139-run stand with Ankit Bawne (59) to lead Maharashtra’s fight back in their Ranji Trophy Group A match against Bengal, on Tuesday. Bengal declared their first innings at overnight score of 528 for eight at the start of the day and the hosts batted with resolve, ending the day at 296 for three. They are still trailing by 232 runs and have a task at hand to avoid conceding first innings lead, reported PTI.

Bengal paceman Ashoke Dinda removed Harshad Khadiwale (5) in the fifth over of the day but Swapnil Gugale (35) and Sangram Atitkar (69) added 56 runs for the second wicket. Mukesh Kumar trapped Gugale to break the stand but the hosts endured another strong partnership of 90 runs between Atitkar and Tripathi. Dinda dismissed Atitkar but Tripathi continued to bat impressively in the company of Bawne. The hosts did not lose any wicket in the final session of the day, added PTI.

Ranji Trophy 2015-16: Points Table and Team Standings after Round 7

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 100/1 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 33 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 53 (a03) S Chatterjee 6 (12) | So that is it, the match has ended with the mutual consent of the two captains. It was always on the cards with this being the final day’s play. The draw has earned Bengal 3 valuable points on the basis of first innings lead, while Maharashtra have earned  nothing. For Bengal, the heroes of  their draw have been their bowlers and young batsman Sudip Chatterjee, who has been in a terrific form.

Sudip Chatterjee’s brilliant ton in the first innings led Bengal to a massive total of 528 for 8 Dec. In reply, Maharashtra looked set to overtake their score for the most part of their chase before quick wickets rattled them and eventually resulted in their innings’ conclusion for 406, handing Bengal a 122-run lead. Bengal came out to bat again but by then it was too late for an outcome in this match. This is Maharashtra’s second consecutive poor performance. That’s all from here, Ciao!

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 87/1 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 31 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 46 (98) S Chatterjee 0 (5) | Maharashtra finally get the breakthrough as a Rahul Tripathi direct hit finds Sayan Shekhar Mandal short of his ground and sends him back to the pavilion. Mandal scored 36 runs before being dismissed and added 83 runs with Abhimanyu Eswaran for the first wicket. Eswaran is still out there and Sudip Chatterjee, who has been in a terrific form this season, has joined him now.

OUT! SS Mandal Run Out R A Tripathi 36 (87)

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 68/0 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 25 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 30 (74), SS Mandal 33 (80)| Bengal have made steady progress in their second innings. In the last 10 overs, they have added 27 more runs without losing any wicket. Both Eswaran and Mandal are into the defensive mode now. The lead has swelled to 190 runs and one final session is left now. The match is going towards a draw. Will Bengal declare now and give Maharashtra 200 odd runs to chase in a session? This is premature to predict but will be good fun if it happens.

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 36/0 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 13 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 10 (39), SS Mandal 21 (43)| After the initial caution, Bengal openers have shown some aggression now. They have hit a flurry of boundaries in last few overs, with Mandal racing to 21 with 4 fours. Eswaran is still playing a tad too defensive, considering the match has nothing left in it now. Unless Bengal surprise all with an early declaration and opening up the match, there is nothing going to happen.

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 4/0 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 5 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 0 (18), SS Mandal 2 (14)| After securing the all-important 122 runs lead in the Group A encounter, Bengal have started their second innings. The match is heading towards a draw with just a couple of sessions left. Abhimanyu Eswaran and Sayan Shekhar Mandal are out there in the middle with Samad Fallah and Anupam Sanklecha operating for Maharashtra.

Live Cricket Score: Maharashtra 406 | Overs 129.2 | Bengal 528/8 Dec | BATSMEN: SM Fallah 8 (8) | Maharashtra innings has come to an end for 406. Last two wickets that fell immediately after lunch were that of their captain Rohit Motwani, who fell for 30. He was trapped in front of the wickets by Aamir Gani. The next and the last batsman to depart was Dominic Muthuswamy, who played a brief cameo of 28-ball 27 that had 2 sixes. He was caught and bowled by Ojha. Maharashtra have conceded a lead of 122 runs to Bengal.

OUT! RH Motwani lbw Aamir Gani 30 (81), D Muthuswamy ct & b Pragyan Ojha 27 (28)

Live Cricket Score: Maharashtra 381/8 | Overs 125 | Bengal 528/8 Dec | BATSMEN: RH Motwani 29 (65), D Muthuswamy 7 (8) | At lunch, Maharashtra have reached to the score of 381 for 8. They are still trailing by 147 runs at the moment and it is highly unlikely that they would overtake Bengal’s total from here. Though their captain Motwani is still at the crease, he does not have any support from the other end. Bengal bowlers have shown some spunk today and have taken 5 wickets for 85 runs in this session. Ashoke Dinda, Pragyan Ojha and Mukesh Kumar have chipped in with two-wickets each.

Live Cricket Score: Maharashtra 373/8 | Overs 122 | Bengal 528/8 Dec | BATSMEN: RH Motwani 29 (65), D Muthuswamy 7 (8) | Maharashtra have lost the plot by losing three quick wickets here in Pune. In doing so, they have thrown away the little advantage they had after that impressive partnership between Ankit Bawane and Rahul Tripathi. Their skipper Rohit Motwani and tailender Dominic Muthuswamy are playing at the moment. They still trail by 155 runs.

OUT! CG Khurana ct A R Eswaran b Pragyan Ojha 12 (39), Shrikant Mundhe lbw Pragyan Ojha 1 (3), AA Sanklecha b Aamir Gani 3 (10)

Live Cricket Score: Maharashtra 333/5 | Overs 108 | Bengal 528/8 Dec | BATSMEN: RH Motwani 9 (31), CG Khurana 4 (9)  | Maharashtra have lost another wicket this morning. This time it is their second overnight batsman Rahul Tripathi. The centurion has been cleaned up by Mukesh Kumar for 132. His fine knock included 15 hits to the fence and 2 massive sixes. With his departure, Maharashtra are now in a spot of bother. They need a big partnership to ensure they don’t concede lead to Bengal.

OUT! R Tripathi b Mukesh Kumar 132 (275)

Live Cricket Score: Maharashtra 318/4 | Overs 101 | Bengal 528/8 Dec | BATSMEN: R Tripathi 127 (260), RH Motwani 3 (13) | Starting the Day 4 from their overnight score of 296 for 3, Maharashtra have lost their overnight batsman Ankit Bawane for 65. He was cleaned up by Veerpratap Singh. Bawane added 156 runs with Rahul Tripathi for the fourth wicket. Tripathi is still going strong with his innings of 127 not out. Giving him company now is Maharashtra skipper Rohit Motwani.

OUT! AR Bawane b Veerpratap Singh 65 (143)

Live Cricket Score: Bengal 87/1 & 528/8 Dec | Overs 31 | Maharashtra 406 | BATSMEN: AR Eswaran 46 (98) S Chatterjee 0 (5) | Maharashtra finally get the breakthrough as a Rahul Tripathi direct hit finds Sayan Shekhar Mandal short of his ground and sends him back to the pavilion. Mandal scored 36 runs before being dismissed and added 83 runs with Abhimanyu Eswaran for the first wicket. Eswaran is still out there and Sudip Chatterjee, who has been in a terrific form this season, has joined him now.