Imran Haroon remained unbeaten on 102 © Getty Images ( Representational Photo)
Imran Haroon remained unbeaten on 102 © Getty Images ( Representational Photo)

Kolkata: Jan 16, 2015

Bengal bowlers again failed to provide decisive blows as debutant Imran Haroon‘s century helped Jammu and Kashmir get a point to remain in hunt for a quarter-final berth in the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament, here today.

Set a stiff target of 337 from 76 overs after Bengal declared their second innings for 264/5, Jammu & Kashmir made merry on an eased out Eden Gardens strip with Haroon standing tall with an unbeaten 103 that had nine boundaries and a six.

Haroon made full use of a reprieve on 20 as he put on a 103 opening partnership with Adil Reshi (58; 7×4) before their premier batsman Ian Dev Singh Chauhan came up with an unbeaten 56 to secure one point. With 11 points from six games, Jammu and Kashmir still have an outside chance while Bengal with 10 points from five games are in the sixth spot, improving from their last position before this round.

The Bengal attack save sporadic bursts from the erratic Ashok Dinda has been below par as they have failed to polish off tail after getting rid of top order. At times they have not been able to get 10 wickets after taking 200 plus lead which would severely dent their quarterfinal hopes.

Disappointed with the way the surface behaved, Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla said:”It was a good wicket, as far as batting was concerned. I did not see a single ball turning from the 70-odd overs we bowled.”

“Yes it’s the bowler’s job to get the turn but at the same time you expect some help from the pitch. We did not get an iota of support from the pitch but no regrets. There was no help from the wicket so it was a brave decision to set them a target of 336 from 76 overs.”

But the day belonged to the 26-year-old batsman, who was dropped by Shreevats Goswami, off the bowling of Saurasish Lahiri as he patiently completed his ton on Ranji debut from 233 balls before the visitors agreed for a draw. Earlier, Bengal batted for exactly for an hour and could manage only 48 runs from 14 overs before declaring the innings for 264/5. Overnight not out batsman Wriddhiman Saha (8) was dismissed in the third ball of the day, before the aggressive innings of Manoj Tiwary (61) also came to an end after he played on to a Mohammed Mudhasir delivery.

This was Bengal’s third successive draw at home, and on the last two occasions they wasted opportunities to register outright wins, failing to exploit the home conditions. Bengal have logged seven points from four consecutive home matches that includes a loss to Karnataka as they find themselves in the relegation zone with 10 points from five matches.
But skipper Shukla said: “We are still playing for qualification, have three more matches left.”

Brief scores

Bengal 387 (Wriddhiman Saha 166; Ram Dayal 4 for 115) and 264 for 5 decl in 58 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 63, Manoj Tiwary 61; Mohammad Mudhasir 2 for 59) draw against Jammu & Kashmir 315 (Ian Dev Singh 72; Ashoke Dinda 3 for 102) and 219 for 2 in 70.2 overs (Imran Haroon 102*, Adil Reshi 58; Saurasish Lahiri 1 for 34).

Points: Bengal 3; Jammu & Kashmir 1.