Ghaziabad: Young left-hander Sudeep Chatterjee scored a patient half century after a painstaking start by opener Arindam Das as Bengal crawled to 141 for four in 57 overs against Uttar Pradesh on a curtailed first day of round six of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament here today.
At stumps, Wriddhiman Saha (45, 78 balls, 9x4) was at the crease having added 52 runs for the fourth wicket with Sudeep (60, 128 balls, 7x4), who was unfortunately run out at fag end of the day courtesy Kuldeep Yadav's direct throw at non striker's end.
Put into bat after the first session was lost due to foggy weather, veteran opener Arindam Das couldn't simply find gaps as his excruciating 19 off 108 balls put severe pressure on other batsmen and it was left to India international Wriddhiman to prop up the team total somewhat.
Wriddhiman's nine hits to the fence and the ease with which he played the likes of Imtiyaz Ahmed, Kuldeep and Piyush Chawla showed why he is class apart from the rest. The cover drives, square drives and down the ground hits were hit with lot of authority.
The standout shot was dancing down the track to Kuldeep for a classical straight drive.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (5) was out cheaply as he was bowled by seamer Amit Mishra's incoming delivery in the 8th over with score on 11.
While Sudeep did occasionally find gaps, Arindam, who was dropped on zero by wicketkeeper Ekalavya Dwivedi failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
The 35 year old was on a block mode, leaving almost everything and the odd hit finding the fielder.
The only authoritative shot was an off drive as repeated instructions sent by dressing room were not paid heed to. The lanky Sudeep did hit some cover drives but Arindam not showing intent seriously hurt Bengal's chances of gaining an outright victory.
Trying to be overcautious in overcast conditions, Arindam put so much pressure that Manoj Tiwary (1) played an atrocious shot as he failed to spot the 'wrong un' bowled by chinaman bowler.
At 74 for three, it was Wriddhiman and Sudeep's stand that saw Bengal reach close to 150. However with weather forecast for remaining days being equally gloomy, Arindam's innings could hurt Bengal badly in the overall context of the match.
Brief scores: Bengal 141/4 (Sudeep Chatterjee 60, Wriddhiman Saha 45 batting, Kuldeep Yadav 2/58) vs UP.