Two bursts of pace saw Bengal expedite the process of dismissing Gujarat, but their tail wagged a little to stretch the match into the last hour and make the hosts earn three points in their first Ranji Trophy Super League tie on the final day at Eden Gardens.
Apart from giving their opponents a close run for their money and pocketing one point, Gujarat also exposed the inconsistency of Bengal's bowling and may have made them realise that home advantage is a myth if pitches continue to be as slow and as low as the one provided at the Eden.Bengal are scheduled to play four matches at home in this group and coach WV Raman has asked his bowlers to embrace the truth and be more creative and disciplined from now on. Raman's inference might have been prompted by the lapse in concentration of his bowlers when they had Gujarat on the mat in the early stages of the match.
Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda dismissed overnight batsmen Rikin Chauhan and Niraj Patel in consecutive overs but Bengal then allowed Gujarat come back through Bhavin Thaker and Pratharesh Parmar who constructed a 112-run fifth wicket partnership to stabilise Gujarat after the early jolts.
Given a legside-heavy field with a bat-pad and a short mid-wicket, it seemed Bose had been asked to bowl a particular line, but he couldn't persist with it. Dinda, too, waned away and by the time the spinners took the ball, Gujarat were again back on track. The early setbacks meant Gujarat had to start all over again, but 77 runs in the morning session was not a bad yield for them. Till Parmar and Thaker were dismissed, Gujarat were cruising at a comfortable rate and looked patiently prepared to overhaul Bengal's first innings total of 560.