Rohan Gavaskar scored a patient half century and forged a crucial 92-run stand with Manoj Tewari to bail out Bengal from a precarious 109 for 6 and give the visitors a 63-run first innings lead against Delhi on the second day of the Elite Group 'A' Ranji Trophy match in Delhi on Friday.
Openers Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan wiped out the defecit to 41 as Delhi were 22 for no loss at stumps after Bengal's innings folded up at 211 at the Jamia Milia University grounds.
Leg spinner Chetanya Nanda (6/67) proved to be the nemesis for the Bengal team and saw that the home team is still in with a chance after they were bundled out yesterday for a paltry 148 in their first innings.
Gavaskar (54) played a determined and gutsy 179-ball innings after Delhi struck two crucial blows in the morning to leave Bengal reeling at 56 for four. The left-hander was ably supported by youngster Manoj Tewari, who hit a fluent 45 off 92 balls, inclusive of three boundaries.
Nanda gave Delhi a good start in the morning when he had Debang Gandhi (15) caught at mid-off and then trapped overnight batsmen S Das (30).
The two other spinners Sarandeep Singh and Rahul Sanghvi also kept things tight from both ends as the Bengal batsmen played tentatively from the crease and could never get their feet moving to milk singles.
Shukla danced down the track trying to break the shackles after lunch but skied the Rahul Sanghvi delivery to Bhandari at covers. Skipper Deep Dasgupta put on a 23-run stand with Rohan before he edged Nanda to first slip.
Delhi (1st innings):
A Chopra c Dasgupta b Paul 0
S Dhawan b Lahiri 8
Varun Kumar b Lahiri 20
M Manhas c Dasgupta b Paul 20
R Bhatia b Paul 25
P Chawla lbw b Paul 33
Sarandeep Singh c Paul b Singh 17
C Nanda lbw b Paul 13
Kunal Lal not out 2
A Bhandari lbw b Paul 0
R L Sanghvi run out (Gavaskar) 0
Extras: (b 2, lb 2, nb 6) 10
Total: (all out, 78.5 overs, 333 mins) 148
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-23, 3-34, 4-77, 5-82, 6-126, 7-145, 8-148, 9-148, 10-148.
Bowling: Paul 19-7-25-6 (2nb), Bose 14-4-22-0, Lahiri 24-3-59-2 (4nb), Singh 17.5-3-29-1, Tewari 3-1-4-0, Gandhi 1-0-5-0.
Bengal (1st innings):
Arindam Das c Bhatia b Sarandeep Singh 3
SG Das lbw b Nanda 36
S Singh b Nanda 0
D Gandhi c Sarandeep Singh b Nanda 15
R Gavaskar lbw b Kunal Lal 54
L R Shukla c Bhandari b Sanghvi 17
D Dasgupta c Chopra b Nanda 15
M Tewari c Varun Kumar b Kunal Lal 45
S S Lahiri lbw b Nanda 6
R R Bose lbw b Nanda 1
S Paul not out 0.
Extras: (b 1, lb 3, nb 15) 19
Total: (all out, 90.1 overs, 396 mins) 211
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-11, 3-51, 4-56, 5-86, 6-109, 7-201, 8-202, 9-210, 10-211.
Bowling: Bhandari 16-4-30-0 (4nb), Kunal Lal 15-4-24-2, Sarandeep Singh 22-7-41-1 (4nb), Nanda 19.1-2-67-6 (7nb), Sanghvi 13-4-29-1, Chopra 1-1-0-0, Bhatia 2-0-7-0, Manhas 2-0-9-0.
Delhi (2nd innings):
A Chopra not out 8
S Dhawan not out 12
Extras: (nb 2) 2
Total: (0 wickets, 6 overs) 22
Bowling: Paul 2-0-6-0 (1nb), Lahiri 3-0-15-0 (1nb), Tewari 1-0-1-0.