Bengal had to be satisfied with three points by virtue of their first innings lead over Andhra in their Ranji Trophy group A fixture in Kolkata on Saturday.
Both the teams agreed for a draw in the post-lunch session after Bengal reached 46 for no loss in 21 overs. The hosts rued missing out on securing an outright win after the match saw several interruptions because of bad light and rain in the first three days.
"We played fabulous cricket but we lost more than 100 overs which is about one and half days. It's very difficult to win at this level with two and half days," Bengal coach and mentor Arun Lal said.
Opener CR Gnaneshwar became the saviour for Andhra as he remained unbeaten on 74, batting through the third and fourth days before the visitor's innings folded for 181 after Ishan Porel dismissed Y Prithvi Raj (four) in the 70th over, at the stroke of lunch.
In the previous over, Gnaneshwar was hit on his helmet by a rising delivery from Bengal debutant pacer Akash Deep, forcing the play to be held up for about 10 minutes.
Gnaneshwar, however, resumed batting soon and remained unbeaten. His 239-ball patient knock saved Andhra team from follow-on.
"He had a CT scan and he's doing completely fine," Hanuma Vihari later said.
Put in, Bengal rode on opener Abhishek Raman's second successive century this season (112) to post 289 under challenging batting conditions.
But it was Gnaneshwar who stood tall as Bengal attack missed their pace spearhead Ashok Dinda, who was axed for the match because of misconduct.
In his absence, rising Bengal pacer Porel returned with impressive figures of 4/50, while Akash Deep also made a fine debut with 3/36.
"He's (Akash Deep) the boy for future. He's got pace, he's got guts. He's the type who can get a set batsman out. It's his first game. He was not being able to control the swing. He's a very good prospect," Lal said.
Lal also spoke highly of Porel and Raman.
"I am hoping Porel makes it to the Indian team soon. He's vastly improved player than last year. He's certainly there," Lal said of Porel, who has been picked for the India A tour to New Zealand next month.
"Raman has improved fitness wise from last year. Raman is now proving it. He's got four hundreds this year that speaks volumes about his performance."
Bengal: 289 and 46 for no loss in 21 overs vs Andhra 181 in 69.2 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 74 not out; Ishan Porel 4/50, Akash Deep 3/36). Match Drawn. Points: Bengal 3, Andhra 1.
Delhi miss bonus points vs Hyderabad
Delhi predictably got six points but lost three wickets in their pursuit of a meager 84-run target, failing to log home a bonus point in their third group A Ranji Trophy league encounter against Hyderabad on Saturday.
Delhi now have seven points from three games and are currently placed 12th in the combined points list of the 18 teams in group A and B. Hyderabad are second last with three defeats in as many games.
However, Delhi's problems will compound after Saturday's match as they will miss the services of Shikhar Dhawam, Navdeep Saini and Ishant Sharma when they next face Punjab in an away game. Punjab are currently on top of the elite table with 17 points from two wins with bonus points.
While Dhawan and Saini will not be playing the next game due to international commitments, Ishant will be unavailable in the fourth game as a part of workload management programme. Another pacer Pawan Suyal has a muscle tear in his groin and could be out of Ranji Trophy for good.
Worse, one of the replacement seamer Kuldeep Yadav was set to make his debut and now finds himself embroiled in a controversy after allegedly behaving inappropriately with a female hotel staff on Christmas day in Kolkata.
DDCA are now in a spot to prepare a good team with not enough ready replacements.
The match showed lack of ability in adverse conditions with next best score after Dhawan's 140 is Anuj Rawat's 29.
Starting the day at 24 for no loss, Delhi crawled to the target in 27.5 overs but only after losing opener Dhawan (21), his partner Kunal Chendela (6) and Nitish Rana (6).
Once Chandela edged one to Kola Sumanth behind the stumps off Mohammed Siraj, Delhi's chances of getting seven points from the game evaporated.
Regular skipper Dhruv Shorey (32 not out) played for himself in his pursuit to get some form back with a lot of time at disposal in the company of Jonty Sidhu.
In Delhi: Delhi 289 and 84/3 (Dhruv Shorey 32 no, Shikhar Dhawan 21). Hyderabad 69 and 298. Points Delhi 6, Hyderabad 0.
In Kolkata: Bengal: 289 and 46 for no loss in 21 overs vs Andhra 181 in 69.2 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 74 not out; Ishan Porel 4/50, Akash Deep 3/36). Match Drawn. Points: Bengal 3, Andhra 1.
In Nagpur: Vidarbha 338. Punjab 408/5 (Shubman Gill 100, Gurkeerat Singh 149, Sanvir Singh 82, Mandeep Singh 59). Points: Punjab 3 Vidarbha 1.
Odisha rout Uttarakhand, secure third bonus-point win
The pace bowling duo of Basant Mohanty and Suryakant Pradhan shared eight wickets between them as Odisha trounced Uttarakhand by 10 wickets at home to complete a hat-trick of wins in the Ranji Trophy here on Saturday.
This was Odisha's third bonus-point win in a row as they lead group C by with 21 points in their kitty, five points clear of second placed Jharkhand.
A superlative 110 by man-of-the-match Shantanu Mishra helped Odisha secure a tall 117-run first innings lead as Uttarakhand, resuming the final day on 54 for four in their second essay, folded for 195 in 52.1 overs at the DRIEMS Ground here.
Suryakant Pradhan grabbed 5/63, while the experienced Mohanty, who had struck 6/17 in the first innings, claimed 3/76 en route to a match-haul of nine wickets to lead Uttarakhand's collapse.
Chasing a paltry 60, Odisha were steered home by Shantanu Mishra (29 not out) and Govinda Poddar (26 not out) after opener Debasish Samantray retired hurt on seven.
In Cuttack: Uttarakhand 117 and 195; 52.1 overs (Dhanraj Sharma 50, Dikshanshu Negi 40; Suryakant Pradhan 5/63, Basant Mohanty 3/76). Odisha 253 and 63 for no loss; 21.4 overs. Odisha won by 10 wickets. Points: Odisha 7, Uttarakhand 0.
In Jamshedpur: Haryana 371. Jharkhand 408/5; 119.1 overs (Kumar Deobrat 161, Saurabh Tiwary 152 not out, Utkarsh Singh 48). Match drawn. Points: Jharkhand 3, Haryana 1.
In Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir 460/5 declared; 94 overs. Assam 82/2; 29 overs. Match drawn. Points: Jammu and Kashmir 1, Assam 1.
In Pune: Maharashtra 289 and 149/3 declared; 69 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 76, Satyajeet Bachhav 52 not out). Chhattisgarh 286. Match drawn. Points: Maharashtra 3, Chhattisgarh 1.
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So the whole last session has been lost and the officials have decided to make up for it by resuming the game half an earlier tomorrow. Day 2 honours should go to India. With an inexperienced bowling attack, they restricted Australian first innings to 369 after the hosts resumed innings today at 274/5. Rohit batted well for his 44 before his attacking style of play led to his fall, yet again. Pujara and Rahane have looked assured in the middle and India, trailing by 307, need them to carry on for long.The coverage starts tomorrow at 4 am and remember the game resumes at 5 am and not 5.30 am IST. Take care and good-bye.
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