Bengal finally managed to show strength of character on the final day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group 'B' match against Haryana with Ashok Dinda leading from the front.
Dinda bowled an exceptional spell to snare seven wickets for 44 runs in 20 overs. His 12-wicket match haul meant the hosts were bundled out for 169 and gave Bengal an outside chance of registering a win, needing 189 runs in 37 overs.
But fading light meant the match was stopped in the sixth mandatory over with Bengal at 128 for five in the 28th over.
They had lost the last five wickets for just over 20 runs in the first innings and another wicket could have again opened the floodgates.
"In the first innings, we fell short by a few runs and that fired me up. I wanted to do something to help my team come back. We wanted to bundle them out as early as possible," said Dinda.
The chase started in the right earnest with Arindam Das and Rohan Banerjee looking for runs but Haryana kept snapping up wickets at regular intervals.
Das was caught by Sunny Singh at first slip off Ashish Hooda for 7. Next in, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala played some glorious shots but was out trying to pull. He became Hooda's second victim with Bengal still 120 behind. Sourav Ganguly looked in fine touch but was caught at long on by Priyank Tehlan off Hooda for 21. He hit a six and four in his short stay. Rohan Banerjee (43) and Writam Porel (8) were run out in their attempt to steal needless singles.
"I have got my first 10-wicket haul and these are my best bowling figures. I would have been happier had it come in a winning cause. Maybe, had we got them out an hour early we could have squeezed in a win," said Dinda. Earlier, he made good use of the short-pitched stuff to trouble the batsmen outside the off stump on a fourth day pitch, which had become a touch slow.
Ranadeb Bose, in the firing line since the start of the season for insipid bowling, provided the first wicket by cleaning up Sunny with one that moved away after pitching on the middle. Thereafter, it was Dinda all the way.
Brief scores: Haryana 258 & 169 (Saini 44; Dinda 7/44) v Bengal 339 & 128/5 (Banerjee 43; 3/40).