Kolkata: Bengal displayed a fine batting performance to remain just 101 runs away from a famous victory over Uttar Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A clash.
Koushik Ghosh (69 not out) and Anustup Majumdar (44) remained unbeaten as Bengal reached 156/2 in their second innings at stumps on Day 3 at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.
Chasing a challenging 257 to win, the home side received an early blow when opener Abishek Das was dismissed with team’s score at 18.
Sudip Kumar Gharami (22) too departed leaving Bengal in a bit of a bother at 61/2.
But Koushik and Anustup held the innings firmly to add an unbeaten 95-run partnership for the third wicket and stay on course for a victory on the final day.
Earlier, resuming the day from overnight score of 122/4, Rinku Singh (89) and Aksh Deep Nath (53) began the proceedings positively looking to extend the lead.
But soon after both stuck half-centuries each, Akash Deep dismissed Aksh Deep to leave the visitors at 142/5.
Aaradhya Yadav (5) and Shivam Mavi (5) too departed as UP were reduced to 183/7.
Rinku, who struck 12 boundaries during his fine knock, missed out on a fine century.
Shivam Sharma (26 not out) chipped in with a handy knock to help team reach 227 in their second innings and hand a challenging target to the home side.
For Bengal, Akash Deep (3-52), Sayan Shekhar Mandal (2-24), Pritam Chakraborty (2-48) and Ishan Porel (2-70) and Shahbaz Ahmed (1-30) impressed with the ball.