Bengal batsmen flounder as Railways take 77-run lead

Kolkata: Pune Warriors seamer Krishna Kant Upadhyay and unknown Ranjit Mali from Assam rocked the depleted Bengal batting to give Railways a 77-run first innings lead thereby raising hopes of staying in the group A.

In reply to Railways` paltry score of 214, Bengal were skittled out for 157 with seamers Upadhyay (3/30) and Mali (3/39) along with leggie Karan Sharma (4/22) shared the spoils as young Bengal batsmen again showed their ineptness to play at the first-class level.

The likes of Debabrata Das, Sudip Chatterjee, Sandipan Das, who have all been club cricket demons basking in the glory of winning inconsequential club level matches for Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Sporting Union have been all at facing something which is a few notches above club level.

Krishnakant, who has been a potent weapon for Railways, over the past two seasons moved the ball both ways as he dismissed the Gen-Next of Bengal batting Sandipan, Debabrata and Rohan Banerjee.

Abhishek Jhunjhunwala got 47 and left-hander Sudip got 38 as the other Bengal batsmen couldn`t show the guts to stick around and score runs in conditions which required technique as well as courage. Once Upadhyay and Mali had cleaned the top-order, leggie Karan polished the tail off in a jiffy.

At stumps, Railways were 20 for no loss at the stumps to take an overall lead of 77.

Abhishek Jhunjhunwala was the top-scorer (47) for Bengal before he became Sharma`s second victim as Bengal struggled to build on a partnership to be bundled out in 76.2 overs.

Brief Scores: Bengal 214 all out in 89.2 overs (Amit Paunikar 50, Sourav Sarkar 4/62) & 20/0.

Bengal 157 all out in 76.2 overs (Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 47, Sudip Chatterjee 38; Karan Sharma 4/22, Krishnakant Upadhyay 3/30, Ranjitkumar Mali 3/39).