Ranji Trophy: Long way to go for Bengal
Manoj Tiwary (84 batting) and Shahbaz Ahmed (72 batting) led Bengal’s fightback after a top-order collapse in their Ranji Trophy semi-final versus Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. At stumps on Day II at the Alur Cricket Stadium (near Bangalore), Bengal reached 197 for 5 in response to Madhya Pradesh’s first innings total of 341.
All Tiwary and Shahbaz — who put together an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 143 — did was to just apply themselves a little better on a track having a fair amount of assistance for spinners and tried to make full use of the scoring opportunities.
It’s still a long way to go for Bengal, however, if they are to go past Madhya Pradesh’s total.
Earlier, resuming on 271 for 6, overnight batsmen Himanshu Mantri (165) and Puneet Datey (33) added 52 more on Wednesday morning, as it appeared Bengal would have to chase something closer to 400. However, Mukesh Kumar (4/66) and Shahbaz (3/86) stepped up to pick up the remaining four wickets quickly.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 341 (H. Mantri 165; M. Kumar 4/66). Bengal 197/5 (M. Tiwary 84 batting, S. Ahmed 72 batting). Stumps, Day II