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First innings lead for state in U-19 tie

- Monu Singh scalps crucial 5 for 54

A five-wicket haul by medium-pacer Monu Kumar Singh helped Jharkhand take the crucial first innings lead on the penultimate day of Cooch Behar Trophy (under-19) Elite group C match against Bengal at Jamshedpurís Keenan Stadium on Monday.

The young pacer from Ranchi played a lead role to dismiss Bengal for 157 in their first innings. Monu picked 5 for 54.

The visitors conceded a 39-run lead to Jharkhand who scored 196 in the first essay. Barring a composed 64 by opener A.R. Keshri, other Bengal batsmen found things not going their way.

The visitors had a disastrous start when Keshriís opening partner S.G. Dey (4) edged Monuís away swinger to wicketkeeper Pappu Kumar Singh with just six runs on the board. Monu was in the act again, evicting H.S. Chakravarty (7).

Keshri found an able partner in V.B. Singh. The two added a 59-run partnership for the third wicket to steady the ship. Just when it looked as if Bengal had gained control, Singh was castled by offie Ronit Singh with one which held its line. Singh scored a confident 37.

The job of rebuilding the innings again fell on Keshri. A.R. Easwaran joined him and Keshri and Easwaran shared a crucial 49-run stand for the fourth wicket and looked set for more. However, the former lost his concentration and edged pacer Pawan Kumar behind the stumps for 64.

The visitors lost two quick wickets at the score of 147 with Eashwaran (21) and skipper A.A. Gani (10) falling to Pawan and Krishna Patel. Monu came back to polish off the tail with some fiery bowling.


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