Kolkata: Steered by Wriddhiman Saha's stroke-filled half-century, Bengal Sunday put up an improved batting show to salvage a draw and settle for one point against Madhya Pradesh who logged three in their Ranji Trophy group B league here.
Resuming their second innings at 43 for no loss with a deficit of 125 runs, Bengal lost two quick wickets to be on 86/2 midway into the first session after offspinner Jalaj Saxena (4/117) dismissed both the openers -- Rohan Banerjee (43) and first innings centurion Arindam Das (39).
But Saha (69) once again proved his worth to be the mainstay of their batting as the wicketkeeper batsman stitched two important partnerships -- 78 runs with Anustup Majumdar (38) and 73 with Subhomoy Das (59). The first partnership that came before the lunch helped Bengal avoid the deficit while in Subhomoy, Saha found a perfect ally as the duo shattered MP's hope for six points with an outright victory.
Saha's knock from 95 balls with nine fours and one six was more of elegance while Subhomoy showed fine temperament as the duo took the total past 200.
Bengal now have five points from three matches to lie low at sixth place, while MP have seven at the fourth position in group B standings. Madhya Pradesh boast of a fine record against Bengal, having defeated them comprehensively in Indore last season for six points, while in 2011-12 they walked away with three points chasing down 496 in the first innings at JU Saltlake campus.
Madhya Pradesh 1st Innings: 431
Bengal 1st Innings: 263
Bengal 2nd Innings (following on): 308/5 in 102 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 69; Jalaj Saxena 4/117).
In Rohtak, Haryana pacers led by Mohit Sharma (4/51) pulled off an emphatic 30-run victory over Jharkhand in their Ranji Trophy group B match. Sharma, who scalped four in the first innings, decimated the Jharkhand batting in company of Joginder Sharma (2/27) and Harshal Patel (3/42) at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.
Resuming the final day on 74/3, Jharkhand were bowled out for 172 in their second innings. Overnight batsmen Bhavin Thakkar (64) and Ishank Jaggi (53) successfully negotiated the morning spell from Haryana bowlers as they added 30 runs to the total, completing their individual fifties in the process.
But just as when the duo looked threatening for Haryana, Joginder removed Jaggi on 106 to put an end to a fighting 70-run stand for the fourth wicket. Thakkar's unfortunate dismissal on 135 started flurry of wickets for Jharkhand. He was run out.
The following Jharkhand batsmen failed to negotiate the Haryana pacers as the hosts wrapped up the match when Rahul Shukla was bowled by Mohit giving his team full six points.
Haryana: 309 & 123
Jharkhand: 231 & 172 (Bhavin Thakkar 64, Ishank Jaggi 53; Mohit Sharma 4/51)
Points Haryana 6, Jharkhand 0.
In Vadodara, Medium pacer Ranjitkumar Mali finished with stunning match figures of 10 for 103 to bowl Railways to an innings and 48 runs victory over Baroda on the final day of their match,.
In a poor display of batting, Baroda crumbled for 217 in their second innings, losing nine wickets after starting the day at 33 for one, with Mali (2/55), fellow pacemen Anureet Singh (3/54) and Krishnakant Upadhyay (4/63) sharing nine wickets among them on a lively Moti Bagh track.
Mali had returned with impressive figures of eight for 50 in the first innings to bowl out Baroda for 176 runs in their first innings. In reply, Railways had ended their first innings at 441 for eight declared with middle-order batsman Arindam Ghosh scoring a fine unbeaten double century (208) to put the visitors in the driver's seat.
Starting their second essay trailing Railways by 233 runs, Baroda batsmen meekly surrendered in front of some hostile pace bowling to be bundled out for 217. For Baroda, opener Saurabh Wakaskar top-scored in the second innings with 59, while Pinal Shah made an unbeaten 57.
Brief Scores: Baroda: 176 & 217 in 63.3 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 59, Krishnakant Upadhyay 4/63, Anureet Singh 3/54).
Railways: First innings 441 runs for 8 decl in 172 overs (Arindam Ghosh 208 not out, Gagandeep Singh 3/94).
Points: Railways 7, Baroda 0.