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Ranji Trophy : ‘Five-for’ by Dinda and debutant Amit Kulia help Bengal take a huge lead

‘Five-for’ by Dinda and debutant Amit Kulia help Bengal take a huge lead: Execellent bowling display by the seasoned Ashok Dinda and the young debutant Amit Kulia helped Bengal take a significant 133 runs first innings lead over their opponent, Punjab, at Lohnu Cricket Ground, Bilaspur.

Riding on the excellent batting performance of the top order, Sayan Mondal (135), Sudeep Chatterjee (51), Agniv Pan (70), Manoj Tiwary (45) and Pankaj Shaw (55), Bengal succeeded in posting a huge total of 404 runs in their first knock.

For Punjab, Sandeep Sharma (4/96) and Vinay Choudhary (3/75) shared the major spoils while Manpreet Gony picked up a couple of wickets, giving away 68 runs.

In response, Punjab did not have a good start, losing opener Jiwanjot Singh, who was caught by Shaw off the bowling of the debutant Amit Kulia. The debutant struck with the very first ball he bowled to claim his maiden wicket in First Class cricket. Neither Jiwanjot nor Punjab had opened the account.

The other opener, Manan Vohra and Uday Kaul tried to construct the innings. After adding 40 runs to the team score, Vohra became the second victim of Kulia, being caught behind by Srivats Goswami. Vohra contributed 23 runs.

Skipper Yuvraj Singh joined Kaul in the middle and the duo looked to steady the innings and prevent further damage. However, Dinda ‘put paid’ to their plan removing Yuvraj while Goswami wobbled up his second catch in the match. Singh had contributed 22 runs.

At the team score of 74 runs for the loss of 3 wickets, Gurkeerat Singh Mann joined Kaul in the middle.

The partnership added 26 runs to the total. In the process Kaul notched up his 27th half-ton.

Gurkeerat, after scoring 11 runs, was dismissed by Kulia with the other debutant Ayan Bhattacharya taking the catch.

At close of play of Day 2, Punjab were in a poor shape losing 4 wickets for just 168 runs with Kaul unbeaten on 73* runs and Taruwar Kohli, who replaced Mann, remained unbeaten on 26* runs.

The first session of Day 4 saw Kaul add 4 more runs to his overnight tally, before being caught by the Bengal skipper, Manoj Tiwary, with Kulia picking his fourth wicket.

Punjab score board, at that stage, read 172 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.

However, adding another 91 runs to the total the rest of the team folded up without much of a resistance.

While Dinda accounted for Taruwar Kohli (26), wicket-keeper Gitansh Khera (38), Siddarth Kaul (3) and Manpreet Gony (0), Kulia claimed the wicket of Vinay Choudhary (8).

Punjab finished their first innings with 271 runs on the board, giving a huge lead of 133 runs to Bengal.

Amit Kulia picked up his ‘five wicket haul’ on debut and finished with the figures of 25-5-76-5 while Dinda had an analysis of 22.3-6-58-5.

Bengal is already on the advantage with the first innings lead.

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