Kolkata: Youngster Jonty Sidhu slammed a gritty 85, his maiden half-century, to help Delhi recover from a jittery start and post a modest 240 against Bengal in their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Round 8 Elite B match at Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Opting to bat, Delhi wilted under some fiery bowling by pacer Ashok Dinda, who claimed the top three en route to four for 62, to reduce the visitors to 73 for five in the first session.

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But the lanky left-hander Sidhu, playing only his second first-class match, batted with tremendous resolve as he rebuilt the innings with Shivam Sharma (42).

As the wicket eased out in the second session, Bengal struggled to break the partnership and the duo added 96 runs for the sixth wicket before skipper Manoj Tiwary gave the breakthrough in a freak dismissal before tea.

Everything was going at ease for Delhi before Sharma was tempted by a widish full toss and miss hit at cover region where Pradipta Pramanik took a low diving catch to his right.

Bengal bounced back in the final session to dismiss the resistance of Sidhu, who was cleaned up by part-time off-spinner Writtick Chatterjee with a quicker one.

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“It’s really an important knock for me, a maiden half-century in Ranji Trophy. I’m however not satisfied as I missed out on a hundred. I’m really sad. I did all the hardwork but missed the milestone,” said Sidhu, who made his Ranji debut in Gautam Gambhir’s swansong match against Andhra.

A former India U-19 captain who led Delhi’s U-23 side, Sidhu said his immediate target is to cement his place in the side.

“For me, it’s about cementing my place in the side. I was just concentrating on the ball not looking at the scorecard,” the left-handed batsman said.

Asked whether 240 would be enough, he said: “It all depends on how we bowl. There’s a bit of help for the medium pacers.”

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Dinda was the pick of the bowlers for Bengal as the pacer castled Kunal Chandela in the fourth ball of the day with Delhi yet to open their account.

Dinda next trapped last match’s centurion Anuj Rawat (7) before Aamir Gani dismissed skipper Nitish Rana (21). The ball kept swinging in the early morning moisture and Dinda made most of it and claimed the other opener Hiten Dala (23) to have Delhi reeling at 62 for four inside the first hour.

“The ball was moving a lot in the morning. The wicket eased out in the second session. We managed to bundle them out. It’s a good show by the entire bowling unit,” Dinda said.

Brief scores: Delhi 240 all out (Jonty Sidhu 85; Ashok Dinda 4/62) versus Bengal