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Listless show by Bengal bowlers

- Jiwanjot Singh hits another hundred

Mohali: After his dream first-class debut — he struck a double hundred against Hyderabad — young Punjab opener Jiwanjot Singh scored another hundred (102 batting) in his second match to put his side in a commanding position against Bengal in their Ranji Trophy match, here, on Saturday.

Replying to Bengal’s first innings score of 326, the hosts reached a formidable 229 for one at stumps. Giving Jiwanjot company is Mayank Sidhana, who also hit a century (107 batting, 190 balls, 17x4).

While Punjab need another 98 runs to take first innings lead, they would ideally look to consolidate and build on the start they have got and push for an innings victory.

For Bengal, it will be an arduous task to save the match. If they have any hopes of stopping the Punjab onslaught, their bowlers need to rise to the occasion and utilise the conditions on the morning of the third day.

The onus will then be on the Manoj Tiwarys and Wriddhiman Sahas to bat maturely.

The second wicket unbeaten stand between Jiwanjot and Sidhana yielded 206 runs. Jiwanjot hit 10 boundaries in his 201-ball knock. The duo had no trouble against a pedestrian Bengal attack as they played their shots easily.

Bengal’s pace trio of Ashok Dinda (0/66 from 20 overs), Saurav Sarkar (0/32 in 11 overs) and Veer Pratap Singh (0/36 in 8 overs) never looked penetrative.

Sourav failed to beat the two batsmen even once during his spell. A lot was expected off Dinda but he also failed to deliver the goods. The two batsmen were in complete control and dictated the proceedings for the better part of the 70 overs.

Earlier, Wriddhiman Saha became the second Bengal batsmen of the season to miss out on a century — opener Subhamoy Das failed two short of a century against Rajasthan in the first match — as he was dismissed for 98 with Bengal ending their first innings at 326.