Kolkata, Jan 31 (PTI) Pacer Akash Deep led Bengal's impressive show with a four-wicket haul as Jharkhand failed to last three full sessions and folded for a paltry 173 in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at Eden Gardens here on Tuesday. The Bengal pace trio of Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar (3/61) and Ishan Porel (1/26) claimed seven wickets between them to revel in bowling-friendly conditions after the home team skipper Manoj Tiwary won a good toss.
More than half of Jharkhand's score was made by their No 3 batter Kumar Suraj, who looked composed and elegant en route to a gritty 89 not out.
The lefthander struck some elegant cover drives, scored on both sides of the wickets using his wrists beautifully but only to be stranded 11 runs shy of a third first-class hundred.
Suraj batted deep into his crease to negate the pace threat by the Bengal pacers and carried his bat through but wickets kept on falling at the other end.
Jharkhand No 11 batter Ashish Kumar (12 off 8 balls) was one of the four Jharkhand batters to get to a double digit as he lent fine support to brighten Suraj's century prospects.
But Ashish fell after a mix-up as Bengal ended their innings in 66.2 overs. The duo put together 20 runs for the last wicket.
Bad light meant that Bengal could not come out to bat in the first innings as day one ended with 21 overs in arrears.
Opting to bowl, Bengal got a perfect start with Akash Deep cleaning up Kumar Deobrat with an incoming delivery.
He bowled with brisk speed and accurate line, making it difficult for Jharkhand who lost half of their side for 77 runs.
Akash Deep got his fourth victim with a yorker that trapped Shahbaz Nadeem plumb in front. Mukesh Kumar at the other end bagged his third victim in Rahul Shukla (0).
Brief Scores Jharkhand 173; 66.2 overs (Kumar Suraj 89 not out; Akash Deep 4/62, Mukesh Kumar 3/61) vs Bengal. PTI TAP TAP BS BS