Abhimanyu, Anustup give Bengal opening day advantage

  • | Thursday | 3rd March, 2022

Cuttack, Mar 3 (PTI) Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran led from the front with 114 as Bengal put up a solid batting display to take the opening day"s advantage against Chandigarh in their Ranji Trophy group B match here on Thursday.Needing three points to seal their knockout berth, Bengal sat pretty on 329 for 6 at stumps on day one with veteran Manoj Tiwary batting on 42 in company of Sayan Sekhar Mondal (33 batting) in an unbroken stand of 61 from 86 balls.Veteran Bengal batter Anustup Majumdar (95 from 149b; 13x4) gave a fine support at the other end as the duo put on a potential match-decisive 193-run partnership to rebuild Bengal innings from being 42 for 2 in the opening hour"s play.Bengal lie on top of the group B table (12 points) with back-to-back wins.Put in to bat, Bengal had a familiar shaky start with rookie opener Sudip Gharami getting out for a successive zero.Gharami, who had scores of 14 and 0 in their last match against Hyderabad, was cleaned up by Jagjit Singh Sandhu in the fourth ball of the day.But the skipper steadied the proceedings, rebuilding their innings with Ritwik Roy Chowdhury who gave a fine support in his resolute display of 12 (44b).For Chandigarh, Jagjit was their best bowler of the day, returning with 23-7-53-3 as he had Bengal at 42 for 2 before Abhimanyu and Anustup turned the tide in favour of Bengal.Struggling to convert his starts, Abhimanyu, who had scores of 4 and 79 and 0 and 24, in the previous two matches finally got to his 15th first class century.The skipper, however, seemed unhappy after getting out for 114."I am not at all satisfied. I had the opportunity to score big and take my team to a bigger total, I missed out on that," Abhimanyu said."We"ll make sure we get a good total on the board. The wicket helped the fast bowlers for an hour and a half, not much help for the spinners." Abhimanyu slammed 12 fours in his 172-ball knock before becoming Jagjit Singh"s second victim as the Chandigarh new ball bowler finally gave a much-needed breakthrough.Bengal lost another wicket in addition of just 11 runs as the 37-year-old Anustup was trapped lbw by Gaurav Gambhir to miss out on his 10th first class century by five runs.The in-form duo of Abhishek Porel (0) and Shahbaz Ahmed (6), who were instrumental in Bengal"s dramatic wins against Baroda and Hyderabad, got out cheaply as Bengal were soon reduced to 268/8.But the former skipper Tiwary resisted collapse with a solid unbeaten 42 from 80 balls with one six and two fours, while Mondal looked at his fluent best in his 33 from 43 balls (5x4)."It feels good to score 300-plus runs on the first day, it gives us the advantage, let"s us control the game more," Abhimanyu said."We did a pretty decent job while batting today, losing a couple of wickets less would have made things even better. How Anustup Majumder played today was very important for us, we stitched a good partnership."Manoj Tiwary and Sayan Sekhar Mondal made a crucial partnership that got us closer to the total we expected. It was a decent day for us," the skipper added. Brief Scores: At Barabati Stadium: Bengal 329/6; 85 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 114, Anustup Majumdar 95, Manoj Tiwary 42 batting, Sayan Sekhar Mondal 33 batting; Jagjit Singh 3/53) vs Chandigarh. At Vikas Cricket Ground: Hyderabad 197; 55.1 overs (Jaweed Ali 65, Tanay Thyagarajan 51; Atit Sheth 5/53). Baroda 92/2; 27 overs (Pratyush Kumar 30; Ravi Teja 2/27). Baroda trail by 105 runs. PTI TAP ATK ATK

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