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Bhatt, Dhruv deny Bengal outright victory

November 20, 2012 19:41 IST

Bengal's pace trio of Ashoke Dinda, Sourav Sarkar and Shami Ahmed failed miserably. They weren't able to get the last six Gujarat wickets on the final day as home team managed only three points from the third round Ranji Trophy encounter at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

A dogged innings of 103 from left-hander Rujul Bhatt and his 149 run-partnership with Rakesh Dhruv, who played an exciting innings of 83 off 98 balls, helped Gujarat end the final day on 272 for 8 after they had a deficit of 266 runs.

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Starting the day on 18 for 4, one thought it was a matter of time for Bengal to wrap up the proceedings when Sarkar got Venugopal Rao caught by Wriddhiman Saha off the very first ball of the final day.

At 18 for 5, Manpreet Juneja (32) joined Rush Kalaria (23) and the duo moved the score to 56 before Kalaria was stumped by Saha off left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena.

Bhatt then joined Juneja and they took the score past 100, but, more importantly, consumed nearly 24 overs in the process.

Things looked like nearing an end when Dinda dismissed Juneja in identical fashion like the first innings as Gujarat were reduced to 103 for seven.

However, for the next 25 overs, Bengal's bowlers saw Bhatt and Dhruv taking the challenge head on. Veteran Dhruv hit 11 boundaries and three huge sixes. When Dhruv was finally dismissed by Shami Ahmed, it was evident that Gujarat had already managed to get a point from the match.

Dinda (2-82), Sarkar (2-29) and Shami (1-52) undid all the good work done by Manoj Tiwary and Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who had set it up nicely for them.

Brief scores:

Gujarat: 260 & 272-8 (Rujul Bhatt 102 not out, Rakesh Dhruv 83, Sourav Sarkar 2-29).

Bengal: 526-7 decl.

Points: Bengal 3; Gujarat 1.

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