Ranji Trophy: Tiwary leads charge as Bengal overcomes early stutter

Inserted in, Bengal was under pressure after losing three wickets for 31 runs. But Tiwary's watchful knock ensured the visitor reached 194 for six at stumps.

Even though Bengal gathered runs at less than two runs per over, Tiwary remained a picture of composure.   -  pti

Manoj Tiwary led by example to score a well-crafted 90 and steer Bengal out of deep trouble against Andhra on the opening day of a Group B Ranji Trophy match at the YSR-ACA -VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

Inserted in, Bengal was under pressure after losing three wickets for 31 runs. But Tiwary's watchful knock ensured the visitor reached 194 for six at stumps.

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On a docile track, Andhra bowlers used the morning conditions well and bowled with discipline. The experienced Vijaykumar and young left-arm pacer Y. Prithvi Raj extracted enough movement and bounce to keep openers Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran quiet.

Prithvi provided the breakthrough when Easwaran played straight to point. Abhishek lost his off stump, shouldering arms to K.V. Sashikanth. Sudip Chatterjee saw the ball brushing his gloves to the keeper off Sasikanth.

Tiwary and Agniv Pan, who replaced Shreevats Goswami, showed a lot of grit to wear down Andhra's enthusiastic pace quartet as the day wore on.

A picture of composure

Even though Bengal gathered runs at less than two runs per over, Tiwary remained a picture of composure. He cut and drove loose deliveries to get 13 of his 14 boundaries and worked the ball around to keep the scoreboard ticking.

The Bengal skipper cut Girinath twice to the ropes in an over to earn his fifty before tea.

Pan (39), who was troubled by Prithvi's bouncers, and Tiwary stitched together a valuable fourth-wicket partnership of 123 runs to steady Bengal's innings.

However Pan, who was dropped on 29, departed off the first ball after tea, Prithvi using the rising delivery to good effect.

Meanwhile, Tiwary missed a deserving hundred as he drove Vijaykumar to Prashanth Kumar in the slips.

“Their bowlers benefitted from the moisture on the surface. The key was leaving the good deliveries,” said Tiwary.

Brief Scores

At Visakhapatnam: Bengal 194 for six in 78 overs (Manoj Tiwary 90) vs. Andhra; Toss: Andhra.