Bengal pacers fought back in the final session after Manoj Tiwary's splendid century to leave Himachal Pradesh reeling at 163 for 5 in their Ranji Trophy group D fixture at Eden Gardens. Resuming at an overnight score of 78, Tiwary cracked 128 to guide Bengal to 419 in their first innings.
Profligate with the new ball initially, India pacer Mohammed Shami (2/74) got his sting back when the ball got old and ended Priyanshu Khanduri's 120-ball vigil at the crease for 52 runs.
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In space of two balls, Ashoke Dinda (2/39) removed the in-form Nikhil Gangta for a cheap 24 before bad light stopped play at 39.3 overs with the group D leaders trailing by 256 runs.
Resuming the day on 306/5, Bengal made steady progress as Tiwary notched up his 24th first-class century and first of this season.
Tiwary took 167 balls to get to the mark and found a fine support in Shreevats Goswami as the duo looked in control in their 64-run partnership till the latter was trapped by Pankaj Jaiswal (3/83).
Bengal innings folded just after the lunch break as Rishi Dhawan (4/86) and Jaiswal wiped the tail but not before they crossed the 400-mark with Mohammed Shami hitting a 22-ball 26 that included two fours and two sixes.
"I'm disappointed because I could not make it bigger. We had time in our hands," Tiwary said.
In reply, Himachal were reduced to 9/1 with Dinda dismissing Prashant Chopra (6) in the third over but after that skipper Sumeet Verma (64) and Khanduri looked in control to lay a solid foundation.
Bengal bowlers struggled to get any help from the wicket as Verma and Chopra added 92 runs for the second wicket before Mukesh Kumar gave the breakthrough dismissing the Himachal captain caught-behind.
Shami looked lacklustre and got his first wicket -- Paras Dogra (7) -- in the ninth over and conceded 74 runs in his 13 overs.
But Khanduri looked dogged in his approach and completed his fifty in 107 balls with a fine support from Gangta, fresh from his consecutive centuries against Services and Goa.
The duo, however, could not consolidate as Shami trapped Khanduri before Dinda swung the match in their favour.
"They were in a comfortable position at one stage but bowlers did well to fight back. I'm really happy at getting five wickets at the end of the day. We are in a good position, the first aim is to secure three points then we will see how the match pans out," Tiwary said.
He further backed Shami and said: "He struggled initially with his rhythm but happy that they fought back. We hope to get early breakthroughs in the morning session tomorrow."
Delhi trail UP by 63 runs after fifties from Gambhir, Shorey
Uttar Pradesh fought back through left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar to reduce Delhi to 228 for six at stumps on day two of the Ranji Trophy Group A match.
UP, who resumed at 270 for eight, were all out for 291 in the morning.
In response, Delhi were looking good at 125 for one before Gautam Gambhir's fall triggered a middle order collapse, which saw the team in serious trouble at 187 for five.
After Gambhir (86), Dhruv Shorey (65 not out) held the innings together but Delhi still needs 63 runs to equal UP's first innings total.
While Delhi pacers revelled on a green surface on day one, UP spinner Kumar (3/74) came up with crucial breakthroughs. He first removed opener Unmukt Chand, who is yet to fire in the tournament, before taking the prized wicket of Gambhir.
The former Delhi captain played solid and hit 13 fours during his 122-ball innings. Milind Kumar was out for a duck, leaving Delhi at 127 for three. Shorey and Rishabh Pant (30) got together but were not able to build a big partnership that was needed to change the momentum of the game in the home team's favour.
Pant, playing his first game of the tournament, batted like he normally does hammering three fours and couples of sixes during his 23-ball cameo. Last match's hero Manan Sharma too departed quickly and so did Nitish Rana. Pretty much like yesterday, four dismissals out of the six were edges to wicketkeeper Upendra Yadav, who earlier in the day made an unbeaten 67 to take UP well past 250.
Bad light affected play for the second day in a row.
Mumbai seize control as Odisha batsmen falter
Mumbai gained the upper hand against Odisha on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group "C" match, dismissing Odisha for 145, thereby gaining a 144 run first innings lead.
At close, Mumbai in their second innings were 58 for three.
Resuming at the overnight 264 for 6, Mumbai could add only 25 runs but hit back strongly to dismiss the rival for 145. For Odisha, Basant Mohanty bagged four wickets.
In response, Odisha started disastrously and lost three wickets without a run on the board. Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed Sandeep Pattanaik off the fourth ball of the innings, having him caught by Surya Kumar Yadav.
Shardul Thakur struck with his first delivery, sending back Natraj Behera and followed it up by scalping Subhransu Senapati off the next. Shantanu Mishra, who came in next, however, denied Thakur a hat-trick.
Things got worse for Odisha when skipper Govind Poddar, who made a ton in the previous match against Andhra Pradesh, fell for 2 to leave the team at four down for just two runs.
Shantanu Mishra (36) and Biplab Samantaray (72 not out) repaired the damage with a 93-run partnership.
Mumbai bowlers ran through the lower order to dismiss Odisha for 145 in 50.5 overs as Vijay D Gohil and Abhishek Nayar scalped three wickets each.
First innings centurion Prithvi Shaw played positively even as fellow opener Akhil Herwadkar (3) was content to play second fiddle before falling with the total at 36.
Ajinkya Rahane did not last long and leg-before to Basant Mohanty for a duck.
Odisha struck late in the day to remove Shaw for 46 to leave Mumbai at 58 for 3 at stumps, an overall lead of 202 runs.