Ian Dev Singh was dismissed after scoring 72 © Getty Images ( Representational Photo)
Ian Dev Singh was dismissed after scoring 72 © Getty Images ( Representational Photo)

Kolkata: Jan 14, 2015

A gritty half-century from Ian Dev Singh Chauhan followed by some lower-order resistance helped Jammu & Kashmir share day two honours with Bengal in their Ranji Trophy cricket Group A fixture on Wednesday.

In reply to Bengal’s tall first innings score of 387 all out, Jammu & Kashmir ended the day at 183/5 as they need 54 more runs to avoid a follow-on.

The visitors had two mini batting collapses on both side of the lunch break but their in-form batsman Chauhan once again saved them with a counter-attacking 103-ball 72 (10×4, 2×6) on an Eden Gardens track which has eased out considerably. Shubham Singh Pundir (34 batting) and Bandeep Singh (27 batting) then remained undefeated in an 55-run sixth wicket partnership to frustrate Bengal.

Ahead by 204, Bengal will have the edge with two more days left as the home team would first look to secure a substantial first innings lead before pressing for an outright win. The highlight of the day was, however, Wriddhiman Saha’s magnificent 166 from 252 deliveries (23×4, 2×6) as the wicketkeeper took Bengal to 387 after a top-order flop show yesterday.

Resuming at 312/7 with Saha unbeaten in the overnight score of 129, Bengal lost Ashok Dinda (25) in the sixth over of the day to bring an end to their 42-run ninth-wicket stand.  Watched by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, Saha played his natural game and completed his 150 in 245 balls with a six to Mohammed Mudhasir but he eventually lost his concentration with wickets falling at the other end.

It was Jammu & Kashmir skipper Parveez Rasool (3/70) who brought Saha’s downfall when the off-spinner’s flighted delivery breached the Bengal batsman’s forward defence to end the innings five minutes short of six hours.