Rookie wicketkeeper-batter Abishek Porel hit his second successive half-century to help Bengal post a respectable total in its first innings on the opening day of its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Hyderabad at the Barabati Stadium here on Thursday.
Thanks to the 19-year-old’s breezy knock (73, 62b, 10x4), Bengal, inserted in, recovered from a precarious 116 for six to score 242.
In reply, Hyderabad, which restricted Bengal with the assistance of left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagarajan’s five-for, was at 15 for two at stumps.
Bengal made two changes, bringing in Ritwik Roy Chowdhary and Sayan Shekhar Mandal for Writtick Chatterjee and Sudip Chaterjee, to bolster its batting.
They were out in the middle in the first hour itself following the fall of the openers, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Gharami.
With the Hyderabad seamers getting good purchase from the pitch, Ritwik (33, 83b, 3x4) and Sayan (34, 98b, 4x4, 1x6) played carefully to add 47 runs before the former, dropped on 11, stepped out against Tanay and was caught at mid-on.
The 32-year-old Sayan, playing a first class match after five years, displayed his sound footwork and good shot selection. The southpaw was dismissed off a beauty of a delivery from hardworking debutant pacer B. Punnaiah after lunch.
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Bengal also lost Anustup Majumdar (29) and Manoj Tiwary (2) quickly to be in trouble again.
Bengal’s heroes in the previous match, Abishek and Shahbaz Ahmed (40, 61b, 2x4), rescued the side with a 74-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Shahbaz played a controlled knock before being removed by Tanay.
Abishek, who gathered 38 with Akash Deep rapidly, showcased his timing and placement to score boundaries all around the park. The left-hander hit pacer Rakshann Readdi for three fours and a single consecutively to bring up his half-century. He was played on off Ravi Teja.
Tanay, who claimed his second fifer after three years, bowled consistently at good lengths. He also took the wickets of Manoj, Akash and Ishan.
“My role was to support the seamers. Since Bengal batters could not score off our seamers, they tried to hit me and got out,” said Tanay.