Despite India's Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and Sudeep Chatterjee scoring half-centuries, Bengal's batting crumbled and they suffered a 10-wicket humiliating loss at home against Vidarbha in a Ranji Trophy Group D fixture here today. Resuming the day on 86 for three in their second innings after being asked to follow-on, Bengal rode on 148-run partnership by Saha (97) and Chatterjee (82), but none of the others could chip in and they folded for 306 in 101.4 overs, setting a 15-run target. Sanjay Ramaswamy struck four boundaries to hit off the winning runs as Vidarbha (21 points) climbed up to the top of Group D table with six points from this match. They are currently six points clear of second placed Punjab. After their first defeat of the season, Bengal slipped to fourth place with 13 points from four matches. Earlier, medium pacer Siddhesh Neral gave the first breakthrough of the day, claiming the prized scalp of overnight batsman Manoj Tiwary, who got out after edging one behind the stumps, adding just seven runs to his overnight total of 36. Chatterjee, who resumed on 40, stayed firm to complete his 14th first-class half-century from 109 balls. While Chatterjee played defensively, Saha looked fluent as he notched up his 32nd first-class fifty in 60 balls and Bengal progressed to 197 for 4 at lunch. Nine overs after lunch, Saha was at the non-striking end and a confusion with Chatterjee led to his unfortunate run out.
Aditya Sarwate then trapped Chatterjee to end the Bengal's resistance. For Vidarbha, Lalit Yadav finished with four for 54. Brief scores: Bengal: 207 & 306 all out in 101.4 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 97, Sudip Chatterjee 82, Manoj Tiwary 43; Lalit Yadav 4/54, Aditya Sarwate 3/59). Vidarbha: 499 & 18 for no loss in 1.3 overs. Points: Vidarbha 6, Bengal 0. Brief scores of other Group D matches: In Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh vs Chhattisgarh Himachal Pradesh: 175 & 167 all out in 49.5 overs (Nikhil Gangta 41; Shahnawaz Hussain 6/53). Chhattisgarh: 456 in 135.2 overs (Rishabh Tiwari 131, Amandeep Khare 78, Manoj Singh 67, Ashutosh Singh 54; Rishi Dhawan 3/127, Sidharth Sharma 3/100). Chhattisgarh won by an innings and 114 runs. Points: Chhattisgarh 7, Himachal 0. In Delhi, Services vs Goa Services: 263 & 190 all out in 55.4 overs (Ravi Chauhan 55; Darshan Misal 7/68). Goa: 270 & 128 for 4 in 50 overs (Sagun Kamat 57 not out, Diwesh Pathania 3/37). Match drawn. Points: Goa 3, Services 1.
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