MP takes vital lead over Bengal

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Gwalior, Nov 12 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh took a vital 68-run lead against Bengal as the hosts were all out for 278 in their first innings in reply to the visitors' 210 all out on the penultimate day of a four-day Plate Group 'B' Ranji Trophy encounter at Captain Roop Singh Stadium here.

Bengal were 126/4 in their second knock at stumps with Abhik Chowdhury (45) and Bardhaman Shah (50) at the crease. Madhya Pradesh's medium-pacer Shantanu Pitre ran through the Bengal innings picking up three wickets while Sanjay Pande got another.

Earlier resuming at an overnight score of 178/5, Madhya Pradesh skipper Rishikesh Kanitkar (overnight 76 not out) failed to add to his score but his partner Brajesh Tomar (overnight 51 not out) put up some resistance before being dismissed for 62.

After the duo's departure, tail-enders Jalaj Saxena and Pitre steadied the hosts' innings. While Saxena struck a useful half-century with the help of seven boundaries, Pitre contributed 26, hitting the rope four times.

Bengal's medium-pacer Ashok Dinda returned with a five-wicket haul while Ranadeb Bose and Chowdhury scalped two batsmen each.

Brief scores: Bengal (Ist innings) 210 all out Madhya Pradesh (Ist innings) 278 all out (R Kanitkar 76, B Tomar 62, J Saxena 50) Bengal (second innings) 126/4 (A Chowdhury 45 n o, B Shah 50 n o) UNI XC-BDG AC PY NS2142

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