Shreevats Goswami finally came out of Wriddhiman Saha’s shadow to hit a career best 225 which enabled Bengal post a commendable 475 for 9 on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group A league encounter against Madhya Pradesh here today.
At stumps, MP were 19 for 1 with Ashok Dinda getting the wicket of Aditya Srivastava. The day belonged to Shreevats, who played 328 balls hitting 25 boundaries and three sixes en route his maiden double hundred in First Class cricket.
It was also a match where Bengal’s lower order showed exemplary resilience as the last three wickets produced 268 runs after being reduced to 207 for seven.
More so Shreevats along with No 11 Sayan Ghosh (20 no) added 119 runs for the unbroken 10th wicket. They broke a 77 year old record which stood in the name of B Malcolm and TS Bhattacharjee, which was 115 against erstwhile Madras during the 1938-39 Ranji season. Apart from last wicket stand, there was a 92 run stand with Veer Pratap Singh (24) for the ninth wicket.
It was this partnership that broke Madhya Pradesh’s morale after their premier keeper Naman Ojha sat out after sustaining a finger injury which seems like a hairline fracture. It wasn’t like Shreevats’ innings was blemish free but he was ready to wait for the loose deliveries and also bat responsibly with the tail taking singles off fourth and fifth deliveries.
He got a life on 97 when he tried to cut off break bowler Shuvam Sharma but the point fielder dropped a dolly. He breached the 100-run mark with a streaky boundary off Puneet Datey through vacant second slip region.
Shreevats’ drives were a sight to watch especially the punch he packed in them. He slogged swept left arm spinner Ankeet Sharma for a six and Shuvam for six over long off. The double hundred came when he tapped Chandrakant Sakhure towards backward short leg for a single. It was the only time that Shreevats showed some emotion as he acknowledged the cheers from the crowd. Even national selector Sarandeep Singh applauded the effort.
Brief Scores: Bengal 475/9 decl (Shreevats Goswami 225, Abhimanyu Easwaran 80) vs MP 19/1.