Youngsters Sudip Chatterjee and Abhimanyu Easwaran showed maturity beyond years in a brilliant 163-run partnership before another familiar middle-order collapse saw Bengal end Day 1 in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Railways on 274 for 8 in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Left-hander Sudeep (96) played a responsible knock and was ably supported by right-hander Easwaran (65) as they resurrected the innings.
In the middle-order, only reserve Test specialist Wriddhiman Saha (60 batting) got a good score as he added 41 runs for the undefeated ninth wicket stand with Ashoke Dinda (batting 17).
From a comfortable 166 for 2, Bengal were reduced to 233 for 8, losing six wickets for 67 runs.
Skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (17), veteran Sourashish Lahiri (2), young Writtick Chatterjee (0) were out cheaply.
Put in to bat in seamer-friendly conditions, in-form pacer Anureet Singh (4-75) rocked the Bengal top-order in his very second over cleaning up Arindam Das (2) and Subhamoy Das (0) with successive balls.
At three for two, 22-year-old Sudip joined 18-year-old Easwaran and they steadied the ship. Easwaran, in his 191-ball knock, hit 10 fours while the talented Sudip missed out on a maiden first-class ton, scoring 96 off 176 balls, inclusive of 14 fours.
Having done all the hard work, the stylish left-hander
Sudip lost his patience momentarily, chasing an away going delivery from Anureet in the second over after tea to miss out on a ton by four runs.
Easwaran started in a rusty manner but the 18-year-old Bengal opener too grew in confidence in Chatterjee's company to notch up his maiden first-class half-century.
Leg-spinner Karn Sharma broke the partnership 10 minutes before tea when Easwaran had a faint edge while going for an expansive shot to a straight delivery.
Brief scores: Bengal 274-8 in 90 overs (Sudip Chatterjee 96, Abhimanyu Easwaran 65, Wriddhiman Saha 60 batting; Anureet Singh 4-75, Murali Kartik 2-58) vs Railways.
Image: Wriddhiman Saha
Photograph: Getty Images