Bengal coach Arun Lal has criticised the Rajkot track which is being used for the Ranji Trophy final with his team toiling hard on the opening day against Saurashtra. Opting to bat first, Saurashtra crawled to 206/5 in 80.5 overs with Bengal pacers striking it late into the day to keep pressure on the hosts.

The ball kept low, especially in the final session of the day’s play prompting Lal to term the pitch as ‘very poor’

“Very poor wicket,” Lal said after the day’s play ended. “The board has to look into things like these. The ball is not coming up. This is not good for cricket. The ball is not getting off, it is dusting, reversing. Very poor.”

Explaining the struggles of his pacers, Lal said, “We had to attack the batsman (in the third session). You have to contain runs, like I said it is a poor wicket. Medium pacers are bowling with one slip and there is no chance of the ball carrying to the slips. It would be a disgrace if the ball starts rolling through on Day 3.”

When questioned whether he will raise the issue with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, Lal replied, “That is not my job. They should look into it on their own.”

Avi Barot (54 off 142) and Vishvaraj Jadeja (54 off 92) hit half-centuries with Bengal pacer Akash Deep taking 3/41.

With Cheteshwar Pujara retiring hurt due to dehydration, it was Bengal who finished the day on top.