Vadodara: A collective effort by its bowlers put Bengal in driver's seat against hosts Baroda as they took a vital first-innings lead of 101 runs in a Ranji Trophy group league cricket match, here today.

After scoring a respectable 455 in the first innings, Bengal bowlers led by spearhead Ashok Dinda (3/92) bowled out Baroda for 354 to ensure at least three points from the match. At stumps, Bengal were 8/1 losing veteran opener Arindam Das (2), who edged left arm seamer Gagandeep Singh. Bengal's overall lead is now 109 and if they don't commit a major harakiri, then they would at least return with 3 points in their kitty.

An outright win looks unlikely as only a day's play is left.

Baroda would rue for a fact that their U-19 World Cupper Deepak Hooda's (114) ton went in vain as some of the lower order batsmen couldn't provide him with adequate support.

Starting the day on 86 for three, Yusuf Pathan (35) and Kedar Devdhar (87) added 89 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter departed. Devdhar's 87 came off 118 balls with 15 fours.

When Hooda joined Pathan, the score was 163 and they took it to 203 before Saurashis Lahiri accounted for Pathan. Then came fruitful 95-run stand for the sixth wicket between Abhijit Karambelkar (31) and Hooda which took the score closer to 300.

But once Karambelkar became Lahiri's second victim, it became easier for Bengal. Hooda, whose 171-ball knock contained 9 boundaries and three sixes finally was dismissed by Dinda, who also accounted for the experienced Pinal Shah to dash any hopes that hosts harboured for taking first-innings lead.

Brief Scores:

Bengal 455 and 8/1
Baroda 1st Innings: 354 in 106.3 overs (Deepak Hooda 114, Ashok Dinda 3/92, Saurashis Lahiri 2/55).