Cricket

Shahbaz spins Bengal back into it

Spin bowling burst: Left-arm orthodox Shahbaz Ahmed tore through the Punjab middle-order to lift Bengal’s mood.

Spin bowling burst: Left-arm orthodox Shahbaz Ahmed tore through the Punjab middle-order to lift Bengal’s mood.  

Tiwari-Nandi century stand allows a 186-run lead over Punjab

Manoj Tiwary and Arnab Nandi hit fifties to put Bengal in the ascendancy on day two of the Ranji Elite A match against Punjab here on Thursday. Bengal was 199/9 at stumps, 186 in front. Krishan Alang and Vinay Choudhary had restored a sense of parity by skittling the lower middle-order.

Bengal knew it had to show a lot more application and nous than the last innings. It was then that Tiwary’s experience came to the fore.

Starting positively, Tiwary kept the scorecard ticking with singles and twos, sandwiched between fours. He was ably supported by Arnab Nandi who was resolute in defence, and put away the loose balls.

By tea, both batsmen had brought up their hundred stand. Nandi was eventually dismissed for a 98-ball 51 by Siddarth Kaul. And by the time, Alang trapped Tiwary in front for a well-crafted 65, the lead had swelled well past 100.

Oohs and aahs

Punjab was left to rue a promising start though. In nine overs before lunch, that tested the skill of the batsmen, Kaul and Alang had reduced Bengal to 18 for two. There were oohs and aahs, along with a plenty of head-holding, in almost every over bowled.

Earlier in the morning, Bengal needed early wickets to make a fight of the match. Akash Deep provided the first breakthrough with an outswinger to send back debutant Ramandeep Singh in the first over of the day.

Shahbaz Ahmed then left Bengal in ecstasy as he summoned the sort of spin bowling burst that was required to lift his side out of day one gloom. The left-arm orthodox tore through the Punjab middle-order in a spell during which he picked five for 29 to finish with 20-5-57-7.

Morning moisture

The early morning moisture played a part in giving the bowlers a bigger say. For the batsmen, there was the slowness of the Patiala pitch, and its at times unpredictable bounce to tackle.

The last wicket pair of Anmol Malhotra and Baltej Singh showed stiff resistance, adding 26 to take a slender first-innings lead of 13. Malhotra, whose unbeaten 51 handed Punjab a win in the last match, struck 44.

The scores: Bengal — 1st innings: 138.

Punjab — 1st innings: Rohan Marwaha c Raman b Akash Deep 48, Abhijeet Garg b Shahbaz 14, Sharad Lumba c Raman b Shahbaz 1, Mandeep Singh b Shahbaz 29, Ramandeep Singh b Akash Deep 0, Anmol Malhotra b Akash Deep 44, Abhishek Gupta lbw b Shahbaz 1, Vinay Choudhary b Shahbaz 2, Siddarth Kaul b Shahbaz 0, Krishan Alang c Goswami b Shahbaz 8, Baltej Singh (not out) 0; Extras (nb-1, b-1, lb-2): 4; Total (in 56.5 overs): 151.

Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-45, 3-93, 4-93, 5-93, 6-97, 7-105, 8-105, 9-125.

Bengal bowling: Akash Deep 10.5-0-30-3, Prasad 14-2-38-0, Shahbaz 20-5-57-7, Nandi 7-2-11-0, Writtick 5-0-12-0.

Bengal — 2nd innings: Koushik Ghosh lbw b Alang 12, Abhimanyu Easwaran b Kaul 4, Abhishek Raman b Alang 1, Arnab Nandi c Sabharwal b Kaul 51, Manoj Tiwary lbw b Alang 65, Shreevats Goswami b Alang 24, Anustup Majumdar b Alang 26, Shahbaz Ahmed b Choudhary 5, Writtick Chatterjee (not out) 3, Akash Deep lbw b Choudhary 0, Ramesh Prasad (not out) 6, Extras (lb-2): 2; Total (in 66 overs): 199/9.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-18, 3-21, 4-128, 5-146, 6-183, 7-190, 8-190, 9-190.

Punjab bowling: Kaul 11-1-37-2, Baltej 5-1-8-0, Alang 22-6-53-5, Choudhary 24-2-89-2, Mandeep 4-0-10-0.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:33:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/shahbaz-spins-bengal-back-into-it/article30812063.ece

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