A fiery spell by right-arm medium pacer Ranadeb Bose put Bengal in a commanding position against Rajasthan on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Bose picked six wickets, conceding just 34 runs in 18.2 overs, while his opening partner, Sourav Sarkar, picked four to help the hosts bundle out Rajasthan for only 193 in their first innings, thus paving the way for the first target of gaining the first innings lead which would put them into the semi-finals.
By close of play, Bengal had already scored 80 for the loss of one wicket. Opener Subhamoy Das was batting on 39 and A Jhunjhunwala on 40.
Playing without their three regulars, Gagan Khoda, Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali, Rajasthan had a disastrous start to their innings with both the makeshift openers, Subhanshu Vijay and Rohit Sharma, returning to pavilion with only 17 on the board.
Rahul Kanwat tried to steady the innings with a 58-run third wicket partnership in the company of Nikhil Doru. Kanwat scored an aggressive 62, inclusive of 12 hits to the fence.
After the departure of Kanwat, the first victim of Bose, skipper Ajay Jadeja tried to put up a resistance but in vain.
But Bose tore through the Rajasthan innings as he bowled Rajesh Bishnoi for a duck and then after lunch break sent back Jadeja for 41 (six fours).
This was Bose's 13th five wicket haul in Ranji, fourth in this season, and his performance today has come immediately after his 10-wicket haul against Hyderabad in the last match.
Rajasthan (1st innings):
Subhanshu Vijay lbw Sourav Sarkar 6
Rohit Sharma b Sourav Sarkar 0
Rahul Kanwat c Deep Dasgupta b Bose 62
Nikhil Doru c Deep Dasgupta b Sarkar 21
Rajesh Bishnoi b Bose 0
Ajay Jadeja lbw Bose 41
Rohit Jalani c Subhomoy b Sarkar 20
Sumit Khatri not out 14
Pankaj Singh c Dasgupta b Bose 0
Aslam Khan c Dasgupta b Bose 0
S Gehlot b Bose 11
Extras: (bye-7, lb-9 nb-2) 18
Total: (all out in 58.2 overs) 193
Fall of wickets: 1/6, 2/17, 3/75, 4/75, 5/122, 6/154, 7/175, 8/179, 9/179
Bowling: Ranadeb Bose 18.2-8-34-6, Sourav Sarkar 20-6-78-4, Ashok Dinda 14-1-46-0, Sourav Ganguly 6-2-19-0
Bengal (1st innings):
Subhamoy Das not out 39
Arindam Das c Nikhil Doru b Gehlot 0
A Jhunjhunwala not out 40
Extras: (nb-1) 1
Total: (for one wkt in 28 overs) 80
Fall of wickets: 1/0
Bowling: Pankaj Singh 12-4-22-0, Sailender Gehlot 9-1-41-1, Sumit Khatri 1-0- 3-0, Ajay Jadeja 6-2-14-0.