RP Singh,wore a smile after he castled Bengal debutant Abhimanyu Easwaran with a sharp in-swinger. It was as if he knew the batsmans fate. He indicated to his team mates the gap between the bat and pad through,which the ball found its way.
It would be harsh to criticise the 18-year-old for his technique. He showed the right attitude in his maiden first-class outing,hit a couple of well-timed fours,ran beautifully between the wickets and looked pretty assured till he was done in by the ball of the day.
R P had spotted a chink in the youngsters technique and was trying to exploit that,coming from round the wicket. That particular delivery could have accounted for anybody. It moved a long way off the seam and fizzed through the surface,allowing Easwaran very little time to adjust.
In fact,in the five overs that RP bowled,he was impressive. He moved the ball both ways,got it to nip off the surface and also scalped Bengal opener Arindam Das.
The angle did the Das in too as RP made one hold its line from round the wicket,inviting the outside edge to the wicketkeeper. The loss of wickets saw Bengal finish the day on 26 for two,replying to Uttar Pradeshs 212 all out.
The visitors stuttered on a seamer-friendly pitch after they were asked to bat by Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla. The hosts fielded two debutants,Easwaran and batting all-rounder Wrritick Chatterjee,as they decided to bank on youth in a must win game. Bengal need six points to keep their knockout hopes alive.
On the seventh ball of the day,Bengal keeper Gitimoy Basu dropped Digvijaysingh Rawat off Sourav Sarkar,but he returned with four wickets. Ashok Dinda bagged three,while the other two medium pacers,Shibshankar Paul and Shukla,got two and one respectively.
Uttar Pradesh suffered a middle-order collapse after their openers put on 34 runs for the first wicket. Prashant Gupta played well for his 53 but got out to a loose shot when he was expected to anchor one end.
At 138 for eight,Uttar Pradesh were under big pressure but Ali Murtaza (33) and Imtiaz Ahmad (36) added 60 runs for the ninth wicket to help their side reach a respectable total on this surface.
Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh 212 all out in 70.1 ov. (P Gupta 53,I Ahmad 36; S Sarkar 4/51,A Dinda 3/75) vs Bengal 26/2 in 10 ov. (G Basu 16 n.o.; R P Singh 2/16)