Birla scion Aryaman hits maiden FC ton as MP salvage a draw
Majumdar further dismissed skipper Naman Ojha in the second innings en route to his two for 60 as Madhya Pradesh were in trouble at 69 for three inside 27 overs. But Sharma joined forces with Aryaman to deny Bengal any more success
Left-handed opener Aryaman Birla slammed his maiden first-class century to help Madhya Pradesh salvage a draw following on, as Bengal had to settle for three points in their first Ranji Trophy home match of the season here ion Thursday.
Scion of the Birla family, Aryaman remained unbeaten on 103 in his third first-class match, while Shubham Sharma gave him fine support with 100 not out on the fourth day to hand Madhya Pradesh one point in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fixture. Bengal, who enjoyed a first innings lead in their last match in Himachal Pradesh, have now six points from two games. Having taken a first innings lead over Tamil Nadu in their last match, Madhya Pradesh now have four points. Reeling at 69 for three in their second innings after being asked to follow-on, the 21-year-old opener showed fine application with Sharma as the duo managed the rescue act in an unbroken 171-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Son of business tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla, Aryaman hit 12 boundaries and one six during his 189-balls, unbeaten innings, while Sharma was a bit more aggressive in his 134-ball knock that included 11 fours and one hit over the fence. With little assistance from the wicket, Bengal, who were playing with four bowlers, suffered further setbacks as they sorely missed their frontline pace duo of Ashok Dinda (swollen knee) and Ishan Porel (blisters) for most part of the second innings. Pace spearhead Dinda could bowl only one over and had to leave the field, while Porel bowled seven overs, leaving Bengal with a big task to bowl Madhya Pradesh out twice.
"They will be fit for our next match (against Kerala from November 20). The wicket was very difficult for the bowlers and we are satisfied with three points," Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary said. Tiwary said they went for an extra batsman because of Madhya Pradesh's strong bowling attack. "We have to see if the wicket is result oriented in our next match. We have to go for six points," Tiwary said with a note of caution as five teams from a combined pool of two Elite groups of A and B will make the cut. "We have three home matches left -- Kerala, Delhi and Punjab. We will look to score maximum," he added. Bengal will miss the services of promising opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, who will represent India A in the tour of New Zealand beginning Saturday.
Earlier, starting at the overnight score of 254 for five in their first innings, Madhya Pradesh were bowled out with addition of just 81 runs in the first hour's play, conceding a 175-run lead. Dinda returned with four for 78, while part-timer Anustup Majumdar bagged three for 38. Majumdar further dismissed skipper Naman Ojha in the second innings en route to his two for 60 as Madhya Pradesh were in trouble at 69 for three inside 27 overs. But Sharma joined forces with Aryaman to deny Bengal any more success.
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