Ranji Trophy: Bengal, Delhi fight for 3 points after rain-hit third day
Hosts Bengal and Delhi fought hard for three points as rain and bad light allowed less than an hour’s play on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match here on Wednesday.
Middle-order batsman Jonty Sidhu was unbeaten on 49 after surviving an lbw off a no-ball, while Subodh Bhati looked edgy for his 25-ball seven as Delhi were 217 for 7, still trailing Bengal by 101 runs as only 9.3 overs were possible in the entire day.
Both the teams will look to get a first innings lead to secure three points, even as more rain is forecast for the final day.
The 53 minutes’ was full of action with pacer Mukesh Kumar bowling his heart out as Bengal looked to wrap up Delhi, which started at the overnight score of 192 for six.
Mukesh gave the breakthrough by trapping overnight batsman Anuj Rawat for zero in the second over of the day. In the first ball of his next over, Mukesh had Sidhu trapped in front of the middle-stump but on referral, the delivery was deemed no-ball by TV umpire Yeshwant Barde.
The left-handed batsman seemed to have got the benefit of doubt as the bowler looked to have overstepped while landing his heel.
A relieved Sidhu smashed Mukesh for three boundaries in that same over to cruise to 49 as Delhi looked in no trouble from there on.
But the play had to be stopped at 1.23pm because of bad light.
Early morning showers washed out the first session as the day’s proceedings began only at 12.30pm with Delhi resuming on 192 for six.
Coach-cum-mentor Arun Lal lashed out at Mukesh for bowling the no-ball and said he would impose a Rs 500 fine from each no-ball bowled at the nets from hereon.
“The fault lies with the bowler (Mukesh). We could have bowled them out today. Our team is cursed by no-balls,” Lal said, recollecting Ashok Dinda’s no-ball that cost them a place in the Vijay Hazare quarterfinals.
“No amount of screaming, swearing-in is working for them. It’s not acceptable. From next nets, I will impose a Rs 500 fine for every no-ball.” Lal, however, did not blame the umpiring decision.
“It was not a glaring bad decision by umpire. Can’t say it’s a wrong decision. So it’s umpires call. It was not an open and shut case.” All the previous two matches at Eden Gardens here, against Andhra and Gujarat, were too affected by rain and bad light as Bengal had to settle for three points each.
“It’s not the rain that bothered us, it’s the bad light. Strange rules... Why can’t lights be used. These days 90 per cent of the grounds have lights,” Lal said as they are fighting hard for three points from their last home match.
Bengal played their last match in Kalyani, about 70 kilometres from here and secured a bonus point win to jump to third place.
Brief Scores: Bengal 318 vs Delhi 217/7 in 75 overs (Dhruv Shorey 65, Jonty Sidhu 49 batting, Hiten Dalal 40; Mukesh Kumar 3/74).