Fourth-wicket partnership provide a succour to UP : Replying to the huge first innings score of 466 runs put up by Bengal, backed by a couple of wonderful centuries by the opener, Abhimanyu Eashwaran (142) and the skipper, Manoj Tiwary (110), seemed to be an uphill task for UP when they started their reply and lost three quick wickets in the form of the openers, Tanmay Shrivastav (2), Almas Shaukat (1) and Samarth Singh (13) with just 49 runs on the board in 12.4 overs.
However, Umang Sharma and the young batting sensation, Sarfaraz Khan got together to build up the innings, ‘brick-by-brick’.
The duo took minimum risks and played according to the demands of the situation.
By end of play on Day 2, they were successful in adding 77 runs for the unbroken partnership with Sharma unbeaten on 57* runs and Sarfaraz unbeaten on 43* runs.
On Day 3, both the batsmen carried on from where they had left on the previous day and continued to keep the score board ticking.
Playing very cautiously the young Khan registered his second First Class half-ton and was looking to go strong for his second First Class century.
However, destiny willed otherwise. In the 53rd over, Khan fell, caught by Abhimanyu off the bowling of Sayan Mondal.
Khan, having faced 124 deliveries, scored 85 runs with the help of 11 fours and a six. He departed with the team score reading a respectable 188 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
Both the batsman had added 139 runs for the fourth wicket.
Sharma, however, continued to hold on to one end and successfully notched up his second First Class century, before he was ‘caught and bowled’ by the left-armer, Pragyan Ojha.
Facing 247 deliveries, and striking 18 boundaries, Sharma scored 136 runs.
Umang also successfully added 24 runs for the fifth wicket alongwith the wicket-keeper-skipper, Eklavya Dwivedi (17), 57 runs for the sixth wicket alongwith Piyush Chawla (34) and another 42 useful runs for the seventh wicket alongwith Kuldeep Yadav.
The huge fourth wicket partnership between Umang and Sarfraz and the subsequent partnerships helped UP put up a total of 360 runs for the loss of seven wickets, as per latest reports.
UP still trail by 106 runs with three wickets in hand.