New Delhi: Bengal batsmen played at snail`s pace as they crawled to 65 for one in 45 overs in reply to Railway`s first innings score of 306 in a Ranji Trophy Group B encounter, here on saturday.
Such was the pace of Bengal batting that they only managed 28 runs in 28 overs in the post tea session at Jamia Millia Islamia Sports complex.
The manner of batting forced Bengal coach Ashoke Malhotra to say sarcastically, "I have told my boys that please don`t let number of overs overtake runs! In any case our best batsman (Manoj Tiwary) is injured and I have retired."
Gitimoy Basu, who has had a nightmare of time having dropped two catches, ran an in-form Arindam Das (26) out refusing a sure third run. He then patted back half volleys to remain unbeaten on 27 off 134 balls.
Subhamoy Das fared no better as he got into a shell scoring only 8 off 75 balls. The duo added 26 runs in 23.3 overs. They need another 252 runs to get first innings lead.
Earlier, Bengal bowlers did a commendable job bowling out Railways for 306 in 125.2 overs. Bengal bowlers got six wickets for 96 runs in 35.2 overs on the day.
Shib Shankar Paul (3/47 in 30 overs) removed overnight batsman Arindam Ghosh with a beautiful in-cutter which the batsman shouldered arms. Ghosh scored 88 in 222 balls with 10 fours. With Rawat he added 61 runs for the fifth wicket.
Nagaland boy Jonathan Rongsen (33) was impressive as he added 44 runs with Rawat. Rawat (68) hit a lovely cover drive off left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena but the next ball saw him play a cut shot which Gitimoy managed to keep in his gloves.
Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla then removed his opposite number Murali Kartik (7) by cleaning him up. Anureet Singh (17) and Krishna Kant Upadhayay (12) hit a few boundaries to take score past 300 run mark.
Anureet`s off stump was knocked by Dinda while Saurashis Lahiri came back after lunch to dismiss both Jonathan and Upadhyay in space of nine balls.
Railways 1st innings: 306 in 125.2 overs (Arindam Ghosh 88, Mahesh Rawat 68, Nitin Bhille 65; SS Paul 3/47, Ashoke Dinda 3/95, S Lahiri 2/19).
Bengal 1st innings 65 for 1 in 45 overs (Gitimoy Basu 27 batting, Subhamoy Das 8 batting; Arindam Das 26).