Shreyas Iyer was adjudged the Man of the Match for his knock of 153 in Mumbai's only innings of the match    PTI
Shreyas Iyer was adjudged the Man of the Match for his knock of 153 in Mumbai’s only innings of the match PTI

Kolkata: Dec 31, 2014

The iconic Eden Gardens’ inadequate drainage system once again came to fore when the final day’s proceedings in the Ranji Trophy Group A fixture between Mumbai and Bengal was called off without little or no rain in the day.

There was light drizzle in the night 0.1 mm according to the Met Department but it was enough to render the conditions “unplayable” as Bengal were happy to pocket one point after being followed on by Mumbai who return home heads held high with three points.

There were five inspections in the day and match referee Sunil Chaturvedi took the final call at 1.30pm local time.

It was a blessing in disguise for Bengal who were 129 for no loss in their second innings after being followed on, still trailing by 75 runs as a loss was looming large.

Mumbai now have 10 points from four matches to be in the second place behind Karnataka, while Bengal (four) are all set to slip to the bottom of the Group A table.

“The outfield was wet and soggy and there were some damp patches in the bowling run-up… We can’t risk injury so we had to abandon the day’s proceedings,” Chaturvedi said.

The local curator however said there was nothing wrong in the drainage system and went on to blame gloomy conditions.

“We needed at least two hours of sunshine to make the ground to be ready. But the conditions were overcast and I couldn’t help,” Mukherjee said.

As a matter of fact, the entire ground can be put under the giant cover, something that could have avoided the field being wet but the curator thought otherwise.

“Unless there’s rain no one covers the entire ground at night,” Mukherjee said.

In fact, the players had given up hope for the play to start and Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary was seen in his denims and not in the team jersey as the India hopeful made use of the time discussing batting with Mumbai coach Praveen Amre.

The Mumbai coach readily obliged and was seen demonstrating a few techniques and the duo were engaged in a one-on-one for about 15 minutes.

The day brought back the memory of Bengal’s last season’s match against Baroda (October 27-20) which was called off after the groundsmen could not make the ground ready after two days of rainfall.

Admitting that their bowlers could not capitalise after winning the toss, Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla said full credit should go to Mumbai batsmen.

“We’re never in the match for two in half days so we conceded the lead. We have to be more determined while batting as getting a first innings lead is very crucial,” Shukla said.

“We’ve to do a lot of thinking before Tamil Nadu match (from January 5).”

Shreyas Iyer, who scored a magnificent 153 in Mumbai’s commanding 414, was adjudged man of the match.

Brief scores:

Mumbai 414 (Shreyas Iyer 153; Laxmi Ratan Shukla 3 for 58) drew with Bengal 210 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 85; Shardul Thakur 5 for 59) and 129 for 0 (Arindam Das 80).