Kolkata: Bengal bowlers led by India discard Ashok Dinda made a fine comeback to ensure three points for the hosts in their opening Ranji Trophy Elite Group encounter against Gujarat at the Eden on Sunday.
After a wicketless third day, Dinda returned with figures of four for 87 as Gujarat were bowled out for 495 runs--- 65 runs short of Bengal`s first innings total of 560. Bengal got three points by virtue of first innings lead while Gujarat got a solitary point.
It was an intriguing final day`s play where Bengal bowlers especially Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda showed a lot of heart on a barren pitch after being belted by Parthiv Patel and Priyank Panchal on the previous day.
Resuming at 315 for two, Gujarat were dealt an early blow when overnight not out batsmen Rikin Chauhan (12) and veteran Neeraj Patel (9) were dismissed by Bose and Dinda respectively. From 315 for two, Gujarat slumped to 318 for four.
But Bengal bowlers suddenly went off the boil after that with Bhavik Thakker and Pratharesh Parmar settling down well to add 112 runs for the fifth wicket.
The duo notched half-centuries with Thakker hit two boundaries and one six en route to his 57 while Parmar scored 54 from 154 balls with three fours.
Just when it looked that Gujarat were cruising along, Bose and Dinda again dealt twin blow. Thakker being caught by rival skipper Manoj Tiwary off veteran pacer`s bowling.
Without any addition to the score, Sunny Patel (0) was catsled by Dinda as Gujarat slumped to 430 for six.
It was just a matter of few overs before Bengal bowlers wiped out the tail and earned three points from their first match of the season.
Bengal coach W V Raman said he was happy to get three points but their bowlers needed to be more consistent.
"Our bowlers bowled well in patches. We have to be more consistent as a unit. But we did well to come back and we are happy with the three points," Raman said, giving credit to Dinda for bringing Bengal back into the game.
Brief Scores: Bengal 560/6 decl. Gujarat 495 in 170.2 overs (Parthiv Patel 143, Priyank Panchal 139, Ashok Dinda 4/87, Iresh Saxena 3/142). Match Drawn
Points: Bengal 3 Gujarat 1.