| Manoj Tiwary remained unbeaten on 102 |
Amritsar: Central Zone entered the semi-final of the Duleep Trophy beating East by virtue of their first innings lead of 190 runs. In reply to Centrals score of 480, East were all out for 290 in 78.2 overs at the Gandhi Complex Stadium on Friday.
It was a meek surrender by the East batsmen, barring Manoj Tiwary, who waged a lone battle. Central will now meet South in Indore from January 26.
Bengals No. 1 batsman was unbeaten on 102 but hardly got any support from the other end.
The final days play started half an hour after lunch with East resuming on 64 for one.
With the target out of their reach, the aim was to score runs at a rate of 3.84 per over without being all out in order to win the match.
Bengal opener Arindam Das duly completed his 17th half-century in first-class cricket. When Easts score reached 90, he was dismissed by Rudra Pratap Singh, caught by skipper Mohammed Kaif. Arindam scored 52.
Skipper Saurabh Tiwary (22) joined his statemate Ishank Jaggi (27) but they couldnt add runs at a brisk pace.
After adding 41 for the third wicket, Saurabh was bowled by leggie Piyush Chawla. Within addition of another couple of runs, Jaggi was caught by wicket-keeper Naman Ojha off the bowling of Jalaj Saxena.
Wriddhiman Saha, who had a horrible season, was run-out without troubling the scorers. At 133 for five, when it looked that East will capitulate, Manoj was joined by Dhiraj Goswami (29) and the pair added 68 for the sixth wicket.
Tiwary in particular punished all the Central bowlers. He hit three huge sixes one each of leggie Chawla and offie Jalaj.
The third one was of pacer Pankaj Singh. Apart from the three sixes, he also hit seven boundaries in his 123-ball knock.
This was Tiwarys 11th first-class century in his 39th first-class game and second of the season. He finished the first-class season with 590 runs (two centuries and four half centuries).
Tiwary also got some useful support for the seventh wicket from Sourashish Lahiri (14) as the duo added 54 runs.
After two steady partnerships, there was another mini slump as Bengals new-ball pair of Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda were both dismissed for nought.
At 256 for nine, last-man Abu Nachim Ahmed (9) hung on grimly as the pair added 34 runs for the last wicket.
However in the second delivery of the 79th over, RP got Abu holed out by Raina as East were all out for 290. The run-rate maintained by East courtesy Tiwary was 3.70 and with a bit of support and application, East could have pulled it off.
For Central, RP and Chawla took three wickets apiece.