Tiwary double ton keeps Bengal`s quarterfinal chances alive

Rajkot: Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary led from the front to score a career best 233 not out as the visitors managed to log home three points against Saurashtra in their crucial Ranji Trophy Super League (Group A) encounter at the Khanderi Stadium, today.

Bengal now have 12 points from six matches and would like to go for the kill against Railways in the final encounter which will be played at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi from Wednesday. Saurashtra meanwhile are all but relegated to Plate division.

Tiwary, who batted close to 10 hours hit 20 boundaries and two sixes facing 405 deiveries in the process as Bengal scored 569 for seven in reply to Saurashtra`s first innings score of 423. His previous best was 210 against Mumbai in the 2006-07 season.

The Bengal captain started from where he left yesterday but with 128 runs still to get, he was choosy about his shot selection. If Tiwary deserves credit for guiding Bengal, off-spinner Sourashis Lahiri should also be praised for notching up his maiden first-class ton (103, 202 balls, 12x4, 2x6)and adding 209 runs for the seventh wicket which proved to be decisive in the end.

Resuming at 295 for five -- Tiwary and former captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla (45) added 66 runs for the sixth wicket and in the process safely played out the first hour.

But Shukla`s impetuosity cost him as he tried to hoist off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana and was stumped by Sagar Jogiyani.

However with nothing much in the pitch, it was easy for Lahiri to settle down alongside Tiwary as they ensured three points for Bengal.

Saurya Sanandiya (4/97) returned with the best figures for Saurashtra while Jayesh Odedra, Sitanshu Kotak and Makvana got a wicket each.

Brief Scores:

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 for 295 for 5): 569 for seven in 183 overs (Manoj Tiwary 233 not out, Saurasish Lahiri 103, Saurya Sanandiya 4/97).