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Ranji Trophy: Bengal openers solid after following-on vs Mumbai

Kolkata: Under-fire veteran opener Arindam Das shrugged off his poor form with an unbeaten 80 as Bengal showed lot of resolve after being enforced follow-on by Mumbai on the third day of a Ranji Trophy cricket match, here today.

After being bowled out for 210, 55 runs short of magic figure of 265, Bengal scored 129 for no loss in their second essay with Arindam batting in company of a very sedate Rohan Banerjee (44, 139 balls).

Bengal are looking for a point from this fixture after giving away 204-run first innings lead. Earlier, youngster Abhimanyu Easwaran scored a career-best 85 before Bengal were bundled out for 210 losing their last four wickets for an addition of 80 runs.

It was a frustrating day for Mumbai especially after Shreyas Iyer dropped Das batting on six at the gully off Shardul Thakur's bowling.

The reprieve cost Mumbai badly as the senior opener went about his innings without taking any risk while the wicket had little to offer.

Mumbai used as many as seven bowlers but none could give a breakthrough before bad light stopped the proceedings more than an hour before the scheduled close of play.

"We could have cracked down had we got the break. It was hard for the bowlers. If the conditions are overcast and gloomy, I'm sure the ball will do something. We are still in a chance to close them down," Mumbai opener Aditya Tare said.

Earlier resuming at 130 for 6, the highlight of Bengal's batting was Easwaran who held the fort with wickets falling at the other end. Kshemal Waingankar gave the first breakthrough when Suvojit Banerjee was bowled in a shocking fashion when the Bengal batsman displayed lack of judgment to leave a delivery that pitched in line of off-stump.

Waingankar (2/76) got a second by castling Veer Pratap Singh (14) as Easwaran, who had survived a couple of close leg before calls, threw away his wicket when he tried to pull Wilkin Mota (2/76) by only to be caught at deep midwicket.

Brief Scores
Mumbai 1st Innings: 414.
Bengal 1st Innings 210 in 74.4 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 85, Manoj Tiwary 63; Shradul Thakur 5/59) and (f/o) 129 for no loss (Arindam Das 80 batting, Rohan Banerjee 44 batting)

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