Hosts Punjab put up a stellar show as they notched up their second successive bonus point as they thrashed a listless Bengal by an innings and 27 runs in a second round Ranji Trophy match in Mohali on Monday.
Starting the day at 25 for one, Bengal were all out for 226 in 65 overs with Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Wriddhiman Saha again trying to put up a fight with scores of 91 not out and 57 respectively. While Bengal scored 326 in their first essay, Punjab had scored a mammoth 579 for eight declared.
The moment Wriddhiman's 197-minute vigil ended, being bowled off left arm spinner Bipul Sharma, Bengal's resistance also ended.
Shukla got his runs off only 83 balls with 12 fours and four sixes.
From 213 for six, the last four wickets fell for only 13 runs.
However the problem was not with the lower order as much as it was with the top-order. Needing to bat 90 overs in the day to at least get a point, it was an abject surrender by Bengal's top-order who lacked the requisite match-saving temperament.
Within the first hour of play, Bengal were reduced to 39 for five and the match as a contest was over. Skipper Manoj Tiwary (30) along with Wriddhiman added 63 runs for the sixth wicket and Wriddhiman-Shukla partnership yielded 111 runs
India discard Manpreet Gony (5/41) and former India U-19 Siddharth Kaul (4/58) shared the bulk of spoils. Both bowl at a decent pace but they are not frighteningly quick by any standards yet the Bengal boys lacked the technique to counter the duo.
Jayojit Basu again flopped as he gave a catch to Karan Goel off Kaul to start the slide.
Youngsters Writam Porel (1) and Arnab Nandi (1) are finding the transition from club level to first-class level extremely difficult. Anustup Majumdar (4) had a breakthrough season last year but hasn't got a single innings of substance since he came back from the 'A' tour of New Zealand.
For Punjab, 14 points from two games is the perfect start to their campaign as their first target would be to make the knock-out stage.
Bengal: 326 & 226 (LR Shukla 91, W Saha 57, MS Gony 5/41, S Kaul 4/58).