Kolkata: A pedestrian bowling effort by hosts Bengal enabled Madhya Pradesh to log home three points by virtue of first innings lead in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match on Sunday.
In reply to Bengal`s first innings score of 496, Madhya Pradesh lower-order batsmen held their nerves as they ensured a crucial 37-run first innings lead finishing on 537.
For a team that got shot out for 63 in an innings in the last match, MP batsmen led by centurions Naman Ojha (127) and Mohnish Mishra (132, 245 balls, 17x4, 1x6) showed a lot of resolve against a below par Bengal attack.
Barring young seamer Mohammed Shami Ahmed (5/116), none of the bowlers looked like having the ability to get the MP batsmen out. Senior pace duo of Ranadeb Bose (0/83) and Ashok Dinda (1/140) gave away 223 runs between them to get a wicket.
It will be interesting whether veteran pacer Bose can retain his place in the squad for the next match on a seamer friendly Lahli track.
The match was interestingly poised when MP lost their eighth wicket at 477 with still 18 required to get the lead.
Taduri Sudhindra (30) and Anand Rajan (21) added 47 runs for the ninth wicket that saw the pair reach the magic score of 495. Before the ninth wicket partnership, sixth wicket pair of Udit Birla (33) and Harpreet Singh (37) added 54 crucial runs.
Bengal 496 and 114/1 (21 overs).
Madhya Pradesh 533 (Mohnish Mishra 132, Naman Ojha 127, S Abbas Ali 47, Harpreet Singh 37; Md Shami Ahmed 5/116).
Madhya Pradesh 3 points, Bengal 1.