GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - Although it was a difficult one, Sayan Shekhar Mondal�s caught-and-bowled opportunity squandered by Krishna Das just before the lunch break cost Assam dear in their Group A Ranji Trophy match as Bengal reached 191 for the loss of four wickets at the end of the opening day at the Barsapara cricket stadium here today.
The match was delayed by about one hour as the match referee Madhusudhan Reddy did not feel the wicket was ready for play. However, Assam captain Gokul Sharma decided to field first after winning the toss even as the moisture seemed gone from the pitch.
Krishna made a brilliant start bowling in-form opener Abhimanyu Eswaran with a superb delivery. After that in the second wicket partnership, Sayan and Sudip Chatterjee got their act together at the middle and yielded 140 runs before Sayan was trapped leg before by Amit Verma for 87. He faced 193 balls during his 283-minute stay at the crease. He hit 10 boundaries.
Spin became effective after the lunch break as the wicket dried up and now, it was Gokul�s turn to strike. He removed Sudip for 65. Assam then claimed the vital wicket of Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary (12) when Krishna struck again in the 67th over.
However, veteran Laxmi Ratan Shukla (12) and Shreevats Goswami (3) stemmed further rot and remained unbeaten when stumps were drawn for the day after 76 overs of play.
Arup Das, who came into the playing eleven after one match for injury, could not provide the required support to his Barpeta compatriot. He was lacking in penetration in the morning session. On the other hand, Krishna was quite impressive and he troubled both Sudip and Sayan in the pre-lunch session. Out of 24 overs he bowled, 12 were maidens. However, both Sudip and Sayan showed enough guts today and played matured innings as per the demand of the situation. They were very much cautious against the Assam pacers knowing their potential and record this season.
Bengal 1st innings: A Easwaran b K Das 8, SS Mondal lbw b Amit Verma 87, S Chatterjee lbw b Sharma 65, M Tiwary c Amit Verma b K Das 12, S Goswami not out 3, LR Shukla not out 12. Extras: (lb 4) 4. Total: (4 wickets; 76 overs) 191. To bat: P Ojha, A Gani, Mukesh Kumar, P Shaw, A Dinda. Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-148, 3-176, 4-176. Bowling: K Das 24-12-39-2, A Das 14-3-36-0, G Sharma 12-5-18-1, J Syed Mohammad 6-0-31-0, P Das 5-2-10-0, Amit Verma 11-1-33-1, A Sinha 4-0-20-0.