Sudip Gharami hogged the limelight for the second day running with a 186-run knock as Bengal reached 577 for five in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Jharkhand on Tuesday.
The seasoned Anustup Majumdar helped himself to a century (117) before Manoj Tiwary, a sitting minister for youth affairs and sports in West Bengal, walked back unbeaten on 54 at the end of second day’s play at the Just Cricket Academy Ground.
Looking to accelerate the scoring rate, the 23-year-old Gharami’s stay in the middle ended with a contentious decision after which Bengal looked to nudge the ball around for ones and twos, rather than going for quick runs and declare their first innings.
There were no signs of urgency from Bengal and it remains to be seen how long do they bat on the third day.
Best of Express Premium
There was no contact between the bat and the ball on its way to wicketkeeper Kumar Kushagra on the leg side, but the umpire still adjudged Gharami out.
Gharami, who was 106 overnight, got out after scoring 186 off 380 balls, hitting 21 fours and a six during his long stay at the crease. The Gharami-Majumdar stand was worth 243 runs.
Opener Abhishek Raman, who retired hurt on 41 on the opening day, returned to make 61, while Abishek Porel, who was part of India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning squad earlier this year, chipped in with a 111-ball 68, making full use of the opportunity he got after Wriddhiman Saha’s departure following differences with the Cricket Association of Bengal.
Anustup made his runs in 194 balls and found the fence 15 times, while former captain Tiwary, who has so far appeared in three Ranji finals and still dreams about winning the elusive title in the country’s premier domestic tournament, hit three fours and a six in his 146-ball undefeated knock.
Resuming the day on 310 for one, the duo of Gharami and Anustup added 65 runs before the latter fell to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem’s bowling.
Jharkhand managed to get two more wickets before veteran Tiwary found an able ally in young Abishek Porel, the two adding 109 runs for the fifth wicket to prop up their team that is hoping to bat just once in the game.
Gharami, who had a highest score of 27 in his four previous appearances, once again showed fine temperament and impressive technique but was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a well-deserved double ton.
With this knock, Gharami, son of a labour contractor who would borrow money from relatives to buy him cricket equipment, reposed the faith shown in him by head coach Arun Lal.
Brief Scores: Bengal: 577/5 in 178 overs (Sudip Gharami 186, Anushtup Majumdar 117, Abhimanyu Easwaran 65, ABhishek Porel 68, Abhishek Raman 61, Manoj Tiwary batting 54) vs Jharkhand.