Grass on the pitch can be deceptive and Bengal almost paid the price for it Tuesday. Haryana at one point held all the aces, but Bengal managed to crawl back into the match, restricting the hosts to 258 for five at stumps on Day 1 despite bowling and fielding poorly.
Haryana had no qualms in opting to bat on a pitch that had a lot of grass. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha snapped opener Nitin Saini off Mohammed Sami for nine, but Rahul Dewan and No. 3 Sunny Singh stitched together a 161-run partnership.
Sunny was dropped thrice during his knock of 111 off 193 balls. Sami failed to hold on to a sharp return catch when Sunny was on 18. He was given another life on 24 by Writam Porel, who dropped a regulation catch in slip. Bengal had another chance to dismiss Sunny when he was on 87 but Abhishek Jhunjhunwala fumbled at mid-wicket off Ashok Dinda.
Sunny made Bengal pay by racing to his century. Dewan, who had scored 164 against Baroda in the previous match, started from where he had left off and played a chanceless knock to reach his fourth first-class century. His 115 runs off 211 balls contained 15 hits to the fence.
Brief scores: Haryana 258/5 (R Dewan 115, S Singh 111) v Bengal