Bengaluru: Wriddhiman Saha made a nice comeback from injury with a finely compiled 90 which complemented youngster Sudeep Chatterjee's patient 145 as Bengal managed 312 for nine against defending champions Karnataka in their opening Ranji Trophy match, here today.
Put into bat, Bengal slumped to 41 for four before left-handed Sudeep and India's Test specialist Wriddhiman conjured a 173 run partnership for the fifth wicket in 48.1 overs to take Bengal to a respectable total.
Apart from the duo, the only other batsman to cross the 20-run mark was former captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who scored 24. Six of the Bengal batsmen failed to even reach the double figures.
While Wriddhiman's three hour and 20 minute vigil saw him face 132 balls hitting 10 fours and a six, Sudeep, who has been the find of Bengal, last season got his second first-class hundred, batting close to six hours. He faced 247 balls hitting 16 boundaries.
For Wriddhiman, the match was about testing his fitness on his comeback after he unfortunately missed the third Test against Sri Lanka after scoring back to back 50's in the first two Test matches.
The Bengal stumper was cautious to begin with having come in with Bengal positioned precariously. He slowly built his innings in company of Sudeep.
The lanky left-hander Sudeep's batting is easy to the eye and his upright stance and drives off the frontfoot make him a good player to watch. He looked equally assured off both his front and backfoot while Wriddhiman was particularly strong through the on-side as well hit some glorious shots through the off. When anything short was offered, he rocked back promptly.
Earlier, R Vinay Kumar (3/30) removed the opening duo Naved Ahmed (3) and Abhishek Das (6) his third over with away going deliveries which were pouched behind the wicket by Robin Uthappa and CM Gautham.
Shreevats Goswami (2) was run-out while Manoj Tiwary played an irresponsible shot being holed out off HS Sharath's bowling to Ravikumar Samarth at deep fine leg.
It was then Wriddhiman joined Sudeep to carry out damage control act.
Brief Scores: Bengal 1st Innings 312/9 in 88 overs (Sudeep Chatterjee 145, Wriddhiman Saha 90, R Vinay Kumar 3/30) vs Karnataka.