Skipper M. Shahrukh Khan top-scored with a quickfire 52 (57b, 2x4, 5x6) as TNCA XI got to 228 and claimed a 35-run first-innings lead versus Bengal on day two of the Group-D match in the Buchi Babu All India invitational cricket tournament at the India Cement Company ground here on Monday.
As Shahrukh got to his fifty off just 55 balls in around half-an-hour of the start of day’s play, there was greater excitement in the TNCA camp and among the viewers to watch him keep going, but he immediately and unfortunately got bowled. Left-arm spinner Vaibhav Yadav’s non-turning delivery that went with the angle did him in.
Shahrukh hit three sixes off pacer Syed Irfan Aftab - he twice pulled and once hit down the ground, and a six each off Vaibhav and pacer Sukhmeet Singh. It was to the cover boundary off the former, and to the cow corner off the latter.
TNCA was able to manage only the slender lead largely down to Vaibhav’s five for 63. While Shubhang Mishra played for the turn there wasn’t and got bowled like his skipper had, Jhathavedh Subramanyan was the victim of the classic left-arm spinner’s mode of dismissal - the ball pitched on middle-and-off and turned just as much to hit the top of off-stump. Madhava Prasad was caught at point and Ch. Jitendra Kumar at slip on Sunday.
Nineteen-year-old Shashank Singh followed up his 68 in the first innings with a 59 (84b, 8x4, 1x6) and left-hander Toufik Uddin Mondal was unbeaten on 52 (53b, 5x4, 3x6) as Bengal ended the day with an 151-run lead.
The scores: Group-D (day two): Bengal 193 & 186/7 in 55 overs (Shashank Singh 59, Toufik Uddin Mondal 52 n.o.) vs. TNCA XI 228 in 65.5 overs (D. Santhosh Kumar 42, M. Shahrukh Khan 52, Nidhish S. Rajagopal 43, Vaibhav Yadav 5/63).
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