The match is still evenly poised: Assam skipper

Kolkata: Bengal might have been firmly placed at 257 for five against Assam in their Ranji Trophy Super League match here, but opponent skipper Amol Muzumdar feels the game is still evenly poised and hopes to make early inroads into the hosts’ batting line-up on Thursday morning.

Playing in his 100th first-class match, former Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (75 batting) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (60 batting) combined 121 runs in an undefeated sixth-wicket stand to wriggle the team out of trouble on the opening day on Wednesday.

Hailing the duo’s efforts, Assam skipper Muzumdar said, “They really played well but the match is still evenly poised. It’s a very good batting strip and no score is safe on this wicket.”

Hoping to take the early advantage with the new ball on Thursday morning, he said, “There is a good grass cover on the wicket. We have taken the second new ball, so it will be a good contest tomorrow morning.”

Assam took the second new ball in the 87th over hoping to get a breakthrough but only to see the light fading out as the umpires drew curtains on the proceedings of the first day after 88 overs – two overs short of target.

Muzumdar appeared disappointed with the decision and said, “We have no say on it. As per the new rules, umpires can call stumps at their discretion, without consulting the teams.”

“It’s a fast-scoring wicket and I don’t think the wicket will deteriorate. There was no help for the spinners today. It was overall a good day.”

Bengal, meanwhile, have added all-rounder Sayan Shekhar Mondal as stand-bye after three of their players – Ashok Dinda, Rohan Banerjee and Arindam Ghosh – were indisposed.

Pacer Dinda and batsman Ghosh have fever while Banerjee hurt himself in the morning on Wednesday.