GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Now Assam has no other way but to try for one point playing draw against Bengal.
On the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group A encounter at the Barsapara cricket stadium here today, being forced to follow on, the hosts were struggling at 72 for two. Now Assam still need 229 with eight wickets in hand to make Bengal bat again.
In reply to Bengal�s first innings total of 444 for six declared Assam, resuming at the overnight total of 1 for four, were all for 143 in 54.4 overs.
Today Assam had a troubledmorning session losing overnight not out batsmen Amit Verma (9) and KB Arun Karthik (30) with scoreboard reading 50.
But Tarjinder Singh (50 off 128 balls, 4x6) and J Syed Mohammad (31 off 47 balls, 4x4) tried to repair the damage. Both added 59 runs for the seventh wicket partnership. But their efforts were not enough to save Assam from following on as the tail enders barely could show any courage in countering the Bengal attack.
Today, opening day's hero Ashok Dinda failed to add any wicket to his over night's four but other medium pacer Mukesh Kumar (3/20) and international Pragyan Ojha (3/33) polished up the Assam tail.
Bengal 1st innings: 444/6 decl.
Assam 1st innings: Pallav Das c Easwaran b Dinda 0, Rahul Hazarika lbw b Dinda 1, Gokul Sharma c Goswami b Dinda 0, Amit Verma c Easwaran b Ojha 9, Arup Das b Dinda 0, KB Arun Karthik b Mukesh Kumar 30, Tarjinder Singh c Easwaran b Ojha 50, J Syed Mohammad b Ojha 31, AS Sinha c Shukla b Mukesh Kumar 10, Wasiqur Rahman lbw b Mukesh Kumar 0, K Das not out 3. Extras: (b 1, lb 6, nb 2) 9; Total: (all out; 54.4 overs) 143. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-1, 4-1, 5-26, 6-50, 7-109, 8-139, 9-140, 10-143. Bowling: AB Dinda 14-3-39-4, AA Gani 8-1-36-0, Mukesh Kumar 7.4-3-20-3, PP Ojha 17-7-33-3, LR Shukla 6-5-3-0, SS Mondal 2-0-5-0.
Assam 2nd innings (following on): Pallav Das not out 28, Rahul Hazarika lbw b Gani 16, Amit Verma c Chatterjee b Gani 19, Gokul Sharma not out 8. Extras: (b 1) 1; Total: (2 wickets; 36 overs) 72. Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-52. Bowling: AB Dinda 3-0-14-0, Mukesh Kumar 4-2-2-0, AA Gani 14-4-34-2, LR Shukla 5-4-4-0, PP Shaw 4-1-4-0, PP Ojha 4-0-8-0, MK Tiwary 2-0-5-0.