Kolkata: An undefeated 66-run seventh wicket partnership between left-hander Manpreet Juneja and seasoned Rakesh Dhruv helped Gujarat reach 230 for six against Bengal on a curtailed opening day of a third round Ranji Trophy encounter.
Due to bad light, only 73 overs of play was possible on the day as Bengal bowlers had Gujarat on the mat at 164 for six before Juneja-Dhruv carried out a recovery act.
For Gujarat, the two Patels, Parthiv and Smit played scored contrasting half centuries. While Parthiv smashed his way to 67 ball 61 which had 12 fours, the current India U-19 glovesman hit a patient 67 off 124 balls with seven hits to the fence. The duo added 95 runs for the third wicket after seamer Sourav Sarkar had removed opener Priyank Panchal and No 3 Niraj Patel for low scores.
Parthiv punished all the Bengal bowlers with Ashoke Dinda going for 60 runs as the pint-sized wicketkeeper-batsman smote him to all parts of the ground. Smit on the otherhand was patient and waited for the loose deliveries.
It was left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena who removed Parthiv when he edged one to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps.
Dinda finally got a wicket when he cleaned up veteran Y Venugopala Rao (4) and Smit finally lost his patience after scoring the third half century of the season.
It was Shami who induced an edge off Smit's blade and gave Wriddhiman his third catch. Bengal's best bowler Sarkar (3/57) then got rid of Rujul Bhat as he was taken by Anustup Majumdar. For the last 20 overs, Bengal bowlers couldn't dislodge the JUneja-Dhruv pair and would like to keep the first innings score under 300.
Brief Scores: Gujarat 230/6 (Smit Patel 67, Parthiv Patel 61, Sourav Sarkar 3/57) vs Gujarat.