New Delhi: Wriddhiman Saha's delightful strokeplay coupled by Sudeep Chatterjee's patient century saw Bengal reach a respectable 272 for three at stumps against Delhi on the first day of their Ranji Trophy cricket encounter, here on Thursday.
Left-hander Sudeep (108 batting) scored his second hundred in three matches, adding 142 runs with Saha (67 batting) for an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand.
The other highlight of the Bengal innings was a 103-run stand for the third wicket between Sudeep and skipper Manoj Tiwary (55).
Saha stamped his authority with a fine fifty even though Bengal suffered due sedate batting from their No.3, who failed to force the pace despite getting set as it took him 220 balls to reach his third first-class century of his career.
Sudeep hit 9 boundaries in his innings, coming to bat in 12th over.
Courtesy Saha, who hit 9 fours and a big six over sight screen off Manan Sharma, Bengal looked good for a decent first innings total.
Partha Sarathi Bhattacharjee (15), who never looked settled and left arm spinner Manan's arm ball found him plumb in-front.
The other opener Naved Ahmed (10) saw his middle stump go for a walk as he was done in by extra pace from Navdeep Saini as he failed to bring his bat down as Bengal became 27/2 in first hour.
Left-handed Sudeep was joined by Tiwary as they faced a tricky situation of dealing with a four pronged pace attack on a two paced wicket.
Sudeep looked uncomfortable against extra pace as he twice survived with ball trickling down to the stumps. He led a charmed life as one inside edge onto the pads off Sumit Narwal's bowling looped up but Nitish Rana running from second slip dropped a dolly.
Tiwary started from where he left in the last match with some fluent drives.
He broke the shackles coming down the pitch hitting Manan for a six over long on and followed it with a cover driven boundary.
Sudeep also gained in confidence as he drove and cut the deliveries.
In the post lunch session, Tiwary edged one off Parvinder Awana which flew past keeper Rishabh Panth to complete his third half century in as many games.
However it was a beauty from left arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan that brought about his end. Coming from round the wicket, Sangwan angled one in and the ball kicked up. Tiwary, who tried to leave it saw it kiss the bat and Rishabh completed a brilliant diving catch behind stumps.
Tiwary hit six fours and a six in 126 balls.
The second session became a struggle for Sudeep as he crawled to his 50 scoring 20 odd runs in the session without a boundary.
Bengal 272/3 in 90 overs (Sudeep Chatterjee 108 not out, Manoj Tiwary 55, Wriddhiman Saha 67 not out; Manan Sharma 1-81).