In just three days, Bengal wrapped up an innings victory against Hyderabad to secure a precious bag of 7 points. Manoj Tiwary, the batting maestro from Bengal scored an unbeaten 303, which was the difference between the two sides. This was the first triple century of Ranji Trophy in this season.
A triple ton is always a laudable achievement, especially when it comes in first class cricket like Ranji Trophy. The monumental Manoj Tiwary innings was even more special after his IPL snub this year at teh auctions in Kolkata. When he came to bat, Bengal were struggling at 22-2, but then built his innings with ease and care. His 414-ball knock in Kalyani was decorated with 30 fours and five sixes. This was the second triple century from Bengal, after the present national selector Devang Gandhi, way back in 1998-99 season.
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After the breezy triple ton, it was a team effort from Bengal to the path of victory. Shreevats Goswami (95) and Arnab Nandi (65*) partnered Tiwary perfectly in this mammoth innings. After the triple century, Bengal declared their innings. Coach Arun Lal said, “We would have declared at tea but how often do you have a batsman on 298.”
The Bengal bowling attack was lead by the pacers as they turned up the heat. At the end of Day 2, Hyderabad was down to 5 wickets with only 83 runs on board. Day 3 began at the same pace, as Hyderabad innings folded at 171 runs. Shahbaz Ahmed got 4 wickets, followed by Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep with 3 wickets each.
After being forced to follow-on, the same scenario was repeated with Akash Deep picking up 4 wickets. Ravi Teja held the fort for a 53-run innings, but it was not enough to prevent the 5th defeat in 6 matches for his team as they were bundled at 161 only.
This perfect home victory has given Bengal the much-needed boost in the point and NRR. With the performance of the bowlers and contribution of the batsmen, they have gained the confidence to face Delhi in their round 7 Elite group match, which will be held at Eden Gardens from January 27.