Manoj Tiwary shines as Haryana, Bengal share points

After a late start, the contest, which was reduced to 21 overs per side, could not conclude due to rain.

File Photo: Manoj Tiwary rescued Bengal’s innings after its shaky start, scoring 60 not out.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Possibility of cricket to begin at three separate venues here on Friday looked slim with the overnight and morning rains.

Rains eased off later in the day for the Group ‘C’ contest of Vijay Hazare Trophy between Bengal and Haryana to commence at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium. With the sun out, play began at 1.30pm for a 21-overs-a-side match. When Haryana was struggling at 69 for six in 14 overs in its chase of 141, rains returned to force the cricket to end without a conclusion.

Haryana, opting to field first, felt vindicated as its bowlers chipped away at regular intervals. Somehow, Bengal found out a way to keep the runs coming on a slow track and heavy outfield. At the end of 10 overs, Bengal was 64 for 4, all four perishing in the pursuit of the big shot.

Tiwary to the rescue

Skipper Manoj Tiwary took control of the innings and forged two brief partnerships with Anustup Majumdar and Shahbaz Ahmed, as Bengal reached 96 for 6 in 16.4 overs. With not many overs left, Tiwary decided to attack and reached his half-century off 41 balls with a boundary straight down the ground. His unbeaten 43-ball 60 (4x4, 6x2) carried Bengal to a competitive total.

For Haryana, Harshal Patel returned with best figures of 2 for 25 while India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bagged a wicket.

Collapse

Haryana’s chase was always going to be tricky on a slow pitch and its best chance for scoring runs had to be against the new ball. The start was jittery; Ashoke Dinda struck first, dismissing opener Harshal Patel (3, 6b) before two brilliant catches by Abhimanyu Easwaran in the deep reduced Haryana to 26 for 3 in 5.1 overs.

After that, the slide was faster, and overhauling the target looked difficult, but with the dismissal of Jayant Yadav, Haryana’s tail was being exposed with the score at 65 for 6 in 13.1 overs. Thanks to the rain, Haryana was able to consolidate its top position in standings by sharing two points each with Bengal, the match being called off with five overs left to play.

Meanwhile, the other two matches (Jharkhand vs Tripura; Assam vs Services) never took off and later abandoned without a ball being bowled.

BRIEF SCORES
  • Bengal 140 for 9 in 21 overs (Manoj Tiwary 60 n.o., Vivek Singh 30) vs Haryana 69 for 6 in 14 overs. Match abandoned.