Kolkata: Half-centuries from Manoj Tiwary, Shreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran helped Bengal to a modest 268, even as Railways seized the momentum in the fag end of day one in the Ranji Trophy Group A cricket fixture at the Eden Gardens here yesterday.
Manoj Tiwary. Pic.PTI/AFP
Opting to bat in the must-win match, Bengal collapsed twice, the first when the hosts lost four wickets for eight runs in 32 balls in the post-lunch session after Easwaran (57) became the first victim of Anureet Singh (4/45). Bengal reeling at 126/5, it was the most reliable duo of Tiwary (68) and Goswami (62) who rescued the team with a fighting 129-run partnership.
But all the good work was undone when Tiwary was deceived by change in pace by Anureet as Bengal's most dependable batsman mistimed his drive to be caught at cover by Ashish Yadav who took a brilliant forward diving low catch. Tiwary's fall triggered yet another collapse as Railways quickly took the new ball to wrap the issue in 12 balls with addition of just 13 runs to the tally as Bengal were bowled out in 94.3 overs.
Anurett was most impressive in the last spell (5-2-13-3), while Arnab Nandi (2/52) and Karn Sharma (2/94) gave good support. The pitch had some uneven bounce and the odd one stayed low as it will be interesting to see how the underfire Bengal bowlers exploit the conditions against a team whose highest season total has been 280 (against Madhya Pradesh).
Earlier, Yadav gave the breakthrough when the left-arm spinner had Arindam Das (13) caught but youngster Abhimanyu once again showed a fine mettle notching his fourth first-class century, all this season and that includes a careerbest 150. Chatterjee followed suit in the next over while non-striker Saha had a mix-up with Tiwary in the middle as Yadav's brilliant throw ran the Bengal wicketkeeper out while skipper Shukla was out for a duck.
It could have been worse for Bengal had Railways not slipped two catches, Tiwary on seven and Goswami on zero, as the duo aided by the lady luck went on to repair the damage.
Bengal 268; 94.3 overs (Manoj Tiwary 68, Shreevats Goswami 62, Abhimanyu Easwaran 57, Sudip Chatterjee 44; Anureet Singh 4/45) v Railways.
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