Ranji Trophy: Debutant Pankaj Shaw shines on final day as Bengal bag 3 points against Rajasthan
Skipper Manoj Tiwary continued his good form with an useful contribution of 83 while Pankaj Shaw scored a half-century on debut as Bengal secured three points by virtue of their 84-run first innings lead against Rajasthan in Ranji Trophy.
Kolkata: Skipper Manoj Tiwary continued his good form with an useful contribution of 83 while Pankaj Shaw scored a half-century on debut as Bengal managed to secure three points by virtue of their 8-4-run first innings lead in their second Ranji Trophy group league encounter here on Sunday.
In reply to the visitors first innings total of 198 in a game interrupted by rain during the first two days, Bengal scored 282 in 90.3 overs with Pankaj's 66-ball-52 laced with three fours and equal number of maximums being the most significant contribution on the final day.
Coming in to bat at 172 for five after India international Wriddhiman Saha's (8) dismissal, 27-year-old Pankaj saw his skipper Tiwary depart for 83 with scorecard reading 190 for six and nine runs still required for the lead.
Along with former India U-19 player Aamir Gani (29), he added 45 runs en route ensuring three points safely.
In their second essay, Rajasthan were reduced to 15 for 3 in 6.2 overs with Ashok Dinda's two and Veer Pratap's one wicket bursts but skipper Ashok Menaria played sensibly and remained unbeaten on 69 (174 balls; 12x4) to see through the final day and secure a point.
Bengal's main spinner Pragyan Ojha, who claimed an impressive 4/49 in the first innings, returned wicketless from 14 overs on the Eden strip that looked eased out.
In absence of all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla who is down with a knee injury, Bengal missed a fifth bowler sorely to play the role of partnership-breaker.
The frustration was well evident as the skipper Tiwary bowled nine overs and accounted for Puneet Yadav (33) to break his 95-run fourth wicket partnership with Menaria.
Gani claimed another in the fag end of the day but that was too little too late as the two days' of rain had already come to the rescue of Team Rajasthan who were handed an innings defeat in Assam.
Both Bengal and Team Rajasthan now have four points but the former have played one match less in group A.
Bengal will now take on a Delhi side which is on a roll after two back to back wins.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 198 & 146/5 in 57 overs (Ashok Menaria 69 not out).
Bengal 282 in 90.3 overs (Manoj Tiwary 83, Abhimanyu Easwaran 53, Pankaj Shaw 52; Ajay Singh 3/72, Aniket Choudhary 2/32, Deepak Chahar 2/52). Match drawn. Bengal 3 points, Rajasthan 1.