Magnificent Manoj, gallant Veer ensure 3 pts for Bengal

Kolkata: Manoj Tiwary played the innings of his life while debutant Veer Pratap Singh showed maturity beyond his age as Bengal logged home three points against Delhi from their penultimate Elite Group B match of the Ranji Trophy at the Eden Gardens.

Tiwary`s herculean 187 (380 balls, 24x4) played over nine hours helped Bengal to a slender yet important three run-lead against Delhi which took their points tally to eight. Even though Bengal remain at the bottom but they have realistic chance of beating the drop if they can atleast manage three against Baroda in their concluding match.

For Delhi, it was yet another disappointing campaign as they couldn`t qualify for the knock-outs for the second successive year.

Resuming the day precariously at 358/8, 35 runs short of a first innings lead, Tiwary again shielded Singh refusing easy singles while adding another two fours to his kitty of 22.

However it was debutant Veer whose copybook cover drive off Rajat Bhatia ensured Bengal reach the magic figure of 393. The youngster was applauded by his senior Tiwary who for the first time opened his helmet to acknowledge the crowd --- he didn`t even do when he reached 100 and 150.

Veer who played 51 balls has now ensured that veteran Ranadeb Bose may just have to sit out of the next match unless selectors decide to drop spinner Iresh Saxena.

There was no stopping for Veer, who followed it up with a square cut for a boundary over point region as he showed amazing temperament in his maiden first-class match.

Soon after Singh ensured the three points of the first delivery of the 118th over, Tiwary mistimed one Pradeep Sangwan delivery for a simple catch to the bowler as he got out having done the hardwork.

Dinda faced two balls before skipper Sourav Ganguly made the declaration.

Sangwan took a five-wicket haul, having toiled for 35.4 overs in absence of seniorpro Ashish Nehra.

In their second essay, Delhi replied with 186/3 as they batted two sessions before calling it off after 57 overs.

Puneet Bisht (57), Mithun Manhas (52 not out) and Yogesh Nagar (50 not) scored half-centuries each.

Brief Scores: Delhi 392 and 186/3; 57 overs (Puneet Bisht 57, Mithun Manhas 52 not out, Yogesh Nagar 50 not out; Ashok Dinda 2/43) drew against Bengal 397/9 declared; 124.4 overs (Manoj Tiwary 187, Veer Pratap Singh 15 not out; Pradeep Sangwan 5/107). Bengal 3 points, Delhi 1 point.

PTI

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