When Maharashtra skipper Harshad Khadiwale cover drove Bengal's Ranadeb Bose for successive boundaries off the first two deliveries of the match, the idea was to take the attack to an opponent low on confidence.
But the experienced Bose exploited the early morning juice in the wicket to provide Bengal the kind of start they would have craved for after losing the toss.
Bose packed off four top-order batsman within the first hour and could have completed a five-wicket haul in his first spell had Manoj Tiwary not dropped wicketkeeper-batsman Rohit Motwani at second slip.
Bose's new ball partner, Ashok Dinda, came to the party after change of ends and ex-Indian Cricket League player Shibsagar Singh chipped in with two in the post-lunch session before Bose wrapped up the innings at 169. At stumps, Bengal were 52 for 2 with Wriddhiman Saha (10) and Tiwary (3) at the crease. The visitors also failed to get off a good start with Deep Dasgupta falling for just one. Arindam Das (38) looked good but edged one from Azhar Ansari.