Ahmedabad: Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary led from the front with a brilliant 92 as the visitors ensured three points against Gujarat to get their floundering Ranji Trophy campaign back on track. Bengal now have eight points from four outings as they take on the formidable Tamil Nadu in their next outing in Chennai.
Needing 274 to get three points after rain played spoilsport for the first one and half days, Tiwary (92) and last-minute inclusion Anushtup Majumdar (74) added 112 runs for the fourth wicket as Bengal scored 340 for seven when play was stopped. Debutant Arnab Nandi also showed lot of composure as he remained unbeaten on 51.
Starting on their overnight score of 99 for two, Bengal lost Dibyendu Chakraborty (23, 120 balls, 3x4) who was bowled by Priyank Panchal having played a very slow innings.
Tiwary and Majumdar then combined well as they went to tea with a score being 211 for three.
The Bengal captain who is recovering from a bout of viral fever played a chanceless knock during his four hour stay at the wicket. With the outfields being heavy he could only hit six boundaries. He also hit a couple of sixes.
Just when he was looking good for a century, he was bowled by medium pacer Ishwar Choudhary. After Tiwary`s dismissal, Sayan Sekhar Mondal (0) and former captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla (13) left in quick succession as Bengal slumped to 258 for six. But Majumdar who hit 10 boundaries along with Nandi ensured that bengal safely reached the magic figure of 274.
"It`s good that we have shown enough discipline after we managed only a point against Assam. Everyone knew what was expected of them and performed accordingly. Credit to pacers Sourav Sarkar and Ranadeb Bose for setting it up for batsmen. I am happy that we are again back on track. Obviously the moisture underneath for the pitch cover helped them a lot," Manoj said after the match.
On his performance, he seemed disappointed on missing out on a century. "I shouldn`t have missed out on a hundred. More so because I am middling the ball well on a difficult track and it was a smooth knock till I got out. When you are in form, you should learn to make the most of it," Manoj concluded.
Bengal made one change to the side that played against Gujarat as Ashok Dinda comes back in place of Sami Ahmed who is suffering from dengue.
Brief Scores: Gujarat 1st inn: 273.
Bengal 1st inn 340/7 (M Tiwary 92, A Majumdar 74, A Nandy not out 51)