Bengal made a mockery of the contest by not declaring their second innings on the final day of their quarterfinal Ranji Trophy match as they ousted defending champions Gujarat by virtue of first innings lead on Monday in Jaipur. Manoj Tiwary's men will meet multiple-time champions Delhi in the semifinals in Pune, while title favourites Karnataka will take on Vidarbha in the other last-four match, to be played in Kolkata. Both matches will be played between December 17 to 21.
Bengal batted for the better part of last three days to finish their second innings at 695 for six when umpires were forced to call off play in the post-tea session as the heavens opened up much to the relief of battered Gujarat bowlers.
Such was the plight of the Gujarat team that skipper Parthiv Patel did not take the field the after lunch on the fourth day, complaining of cramps.
The last two sessions on the penultimate day and on the final day, it was a reserve wicketkeeper who took the field as a substitute and kept wickets, as per the new ICC rules.
On the inconsequential final day, the in-form Anustup Majumdar got his seventh first-class hundred, having scored an invaluable 94 in the first essay. In fact, the fifth day was walk in the park for Majumdar, whose first innings contribution was far more crucial as it paved the way for Bengal putting up a decent total after a top-order collapse.
Majumdar scored an unbeaten 132 off 172 balls, studded with 17 fours and a six in the second innings.
At the close of play, Bengal enjoyed an overall lead of 825 runs by virtue of their 130-run first innings lead.
Resuming on 483 for 4, Bengal extended their lead further on the final day.
Bengal: 354 & 695/6 in 231 overs ((Writtick Chatterjee 216, Abhimanyu Easwaran 114, Anustup Majumdar 132 not out).