Bengal are on the verge of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy cricket after forcing Assam to follow on in their final Group A match on Thursday.
The visiting side asked Assam to follow on after skittling the home side out for 143 in their first innings on the third day to ensure that they do not lose the match at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.
Assam, who conceded a massive 301-run first innings lead to Bengal, ended the day on 72 for 2 in 36 overs in their second essay.
With just one day left in the match, Assam can only save the match as they need to score another 230 runs to make Bengal bat again.
Bengal, on the other hand, cannot lose from here. Even in case they could not force an outright win on Friday, they will end among the top three in Group A on the basis of first-innings lead.
Delhi, Assam and Bengal are on 25 points each while Karnataka and Vidarbha are on 24 and 22 in Group A. Delhi have already played all their eight matches while the other four teams are playing their last games. Three team from Group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
For Bengal, pacer Mukesh Kumar and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took three wickets apiece to rattle the Assam batsmen who resumed the day at a precarious 1/4.
Speedster Ashok Dinda could not add any wicket today to the four he grabbed in two overs in a devastating spell on Wednesday.
For Assam, Tarjinder Singh top-scored in their first innings with a 128-ball 50 and he shared 59 runs with Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad (31) for the seventh wicket to save Assam from being bowled out below 100.
In their second innings, Assam batted with a lot of caution with opener Pallavkumar Das remaining not out with a 102-ball 28. Captain Gokul Sharma was giving him company at stumps on 8.
Bengal: 444/6 declared
Assam: 143 (Tarjinder Singh 50; Ashok Dinda 4/39, Mukesh Kumar 3/20, Pragyan Ojha 3/33) & 72/2 from 36 overs (f/o).
Rajasthan record a thrilling win
Rajasthan recorded a tense two-wicket win over Odisha in Jaipur on Thursday to end a forgettable Ranji Trophy season on a high.
Rajasthan, who were 79 for two overnight and required another 152 runs to chase down down the 230-run target, managed to get over the line in low-scoring game. Fifties from Siddharth Dobal (52) and Puneet Yadav (59) came more than handy in the run chase.
Odisha had made 151 and 129 and Rajasthan were bowled out for a paltry 51 in their first innings.
It was the last match of the season for both teams, having failed to make the quarterfinals. Rajasthan finished with 17 points from eight games and Odisha 12 points from eight games.
Odisha 1st innings: 151 and 129.
Rajasthan 1st innings: 51 and 231/8 in 65.5 overs (Puneet Yadav 59, Siddharth Dobal 52; Basant Mohanty 3/65, Alok Sahoo 2/61).