Off-break bowler Akshay Wakhare and slow left-arm orthodox Aditya Sarvate were deadly on a spinner-friendly track as defending champions Vidarbha bowled out Bengal for a paltry 170 here on the first day of a Ranji Trophy group A encounter.
At stumps, Vidarbha were 89 for 3 with skipper Faiz Fazal (51) being dismissed off the final delivery of the day by off-spinner Arnab Nandi. The nature of the pitch is an indicator that the match is likely to end inside three days.
Barring former skipper Manoj Tiwary (48) and the injured Ritwick Roy Chowdhury (27), none of the other Bengal players were able to cross the 20-run mark. Wakhare (5/56 in 19 overs) and Sarvate (4/53 in 20 overs) made life miserable on a track where there was turn.Such was their dominance that team’s biggest star Umesh Yadav (1/19) bowled only six overs in two spells.
Tiwary’s brief innings with five boundaries was a lesson on how to counter on a vicious turner. He looked good for a half-century but tried to cut Wakhare against the turn and was bowled in the process, was yet another failure for Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran (18), who is apparently slipped down the pecking order as far as being in the national reckoning is concerned.
He was caught at forward short leg trying a defensive shot against Wakhare Easwaran’s scores in this edition of Ranji Trophy are — 4, 15 no, 6, 13 no, 42 and 18 and he has done his case no good with KL Rahul and Shubman Gill way ahead of him in contention for the reserve opener’s slot.