Rajkot: Captain Manoj Tiwary led from the front with an unbeaten century to guide Bengal to 295 for five in reply to Saurashtra’s first innings score of 423 in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match here on Friday.
Tiwary scored a delightful unbeaten 116 and together with Dibyendu Chakrabarty (80) added 127 runs for the third wicket to take Bengal near the 300-run mark.
At stumps day three, Bengal still trail Saurashtra by 128 runs but with a set Tiwary and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (3) at the crease, the visitors are well in course of pocketing three points by virtue of first innings lead on the fourth and final day tomorrow.
Medium pacer Saurya Sanandiya was the pick of Saurashtra bowlers on Friday with figures of three for 41 runs.
Resuming at 33 for one, Sreevats Goswami (49) and Chakrabarty added 72 more runs to their overnight five-run stand before Goswami feel just one runs short of his second first class half century.
The Bengal wicket-keeper’s 131-ball stay at the crease came to an end when he was caught by Sanandiya off Shitanshu Kotak (1/53). He struck eight boundaries during his innings.
But then came a determined Tiwary who took the onus on his own shoulders to guide the Bengal innings.
In Chakrabarty, Tiwary got a perfect partner as the duo went about their business with consummate ease before the former sneaked one to Sagar Jogiyani behind the stumps off Sanandiya.
Chakrabarty hit 11 boundaries during his marathon 214-ball innings.
Sanandiya added two more wickets to his name – Anustup Majumdar (12) and Writam Porel (24) -- in identical fashion at the fag end of the day to help Saurashtra sign off the day on a positive note.
However, holding the fort was Tiwary who had already struck 11 fours and two huge sixes during his 119-ball unconquered knock.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 423 all out in 164 overs (Kamlesh Makvana 108, Rahul Dave 72; Ashok Dinda 3/105, Saurasish Lahiri 3/64).
Bengal 1st innings (Overnight 33 for 1): 295 for five in 104 overs (Manoj Tiwary 116 not out, Dibyendu Chakrabarty 80; Saurya Sanandiya 3/41).