Bengal bowlers toiled hard to restrict Services to 261 for six, giving themselves a good chance to grab first innings lead on the third day of the Ranji Trophy group B encounter, in New Delhi on Saturday.
With Services needing another 171 runs to get first innings lead, Bengal have a slight edge as they have to run into the home team's tail at the Airforce Ground in Palam.
For Services, a 131-run partnership between Vishnu Tiwary (71) and Soumya Ranjan Swain (56 batting) in 39.4 overs did raise visions of a splendid fightback but Bengal's 'Go-To Man' in this match Sourashis Lahiri dismissed Tiwary at the end of the day to get the initiative back.
Ashok Dinda (3/75 in 25 overs, in pic) was the most successful bowler but Lahiri (2/62 in 19 overs) made the most impact as he removed Tiwary and Yashpal Singh (11) withÂ couple of good deliveries.
While Tiwary was adjudged leg before as he tried to sweep, Yashpal was out when Wriddhiman Saha effected a brilliant stumping. Lahiri had tossed one up and Yashpal went for a drive and in the process lost his balance.
Saha whipped the bails in a flash and third umpire gave the batsman out. The morning session belonged to Bengal as they removed the top order quickly once the opening partnership produced 65 runs.
Anshul Gupta was the first to get out as he couldn't flash hard at a Dinda bouncer and the ball ballooned to gully where Anshutup Majumdar took the catch low down.
Gupta made 22 with three fours. His partner Pratik Desai was more aggressive as he took on Dinda pulling him for a boundary. A thick outside edge that flew past slip brought his 50 off 64 balls.
Immediately in the next ball Dinda again bowled a bouncer which Desai played an ugly pull shot which was caught by Shib Shankar Paul at short fine leg. Desai's 52 had eight boundaries. Nakul Verma didn't last long as Majumdar at silly point caught him for 10.
After Yashpal was dismissed, Services went into lunch at 122 for four. Rajat Paliwal (25) was out immediately after lunch as he was bowled by Dinda playing to wrong line. The delivery moved away after pitching.
After that Tiwary and Swain played sensibly as they hit boundaries as well as took singles and twos. Tiwary hit 7 fours in his 150 ball knockÂ while Swain has 6 fours in the 175 balls he faced so far.
In the end, Tiwary's dismissal gave Bengal the upper hand.
Brief Scores; Bengal 431. Services 261/6 (Vishnu Tiwari 71, Soumya Ranjan Swain 56 batting, Pratik Desai 52, Ashoke Dinda 3/75, Sourashis Lahiri 2/62).