Bengal edging towards victory against Hyderabad

Published: Friday, January 5, 2007, 2:21 [IST]
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Hyderabad:Chasing 186 runs for a win, former champions Bengal were 72 for 2 at the close of play on penultimate day in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group-B match against Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Bengal with eight wickets in hand needed 114 runs to win the match.

Bengal began their second innings by losing two wickets, when the score was nine runs.

Though Hyderabad's medium pacer M P Arjun managed to make inroads into Bengal's batting line up, A A Jhunjhunwala (26 off 48 balls, 5x4) and Manoj Tiwary (19 off 49 balls, 2x4) posed a stiff resistance and steadied the innings by adding 43 runs for the third wicket.

Tomorrow, if both these batsmen carry on from where they have left today, it would be a big task for Hyderabad.

Earlier, Hyderabad were shown the way out for a paltry 76 runs in their second innings as they succumbed to a magnificent spell by medium pacer Ranadeb Ranjit Bose, who just missed his best bowling performance by a run.

Bose's ten wicket haul had almost shut the doors on the Ranji Trophy semi-final berth for Hyderabad.

Resuming at their overnight score of 172/7, Bengal were all out after adding 28 more runs.

Barring S S Lahiri (46, 5x4), all others failed to resist Hyderabad bowlers. Right arm medium pacer Alfred Absolom with his best bowling performance (5/52) ran through the Bengal line up.

In its reply, Bengal's Bose with his seven wicket haul lacerated Hyderabad's batting line up single-handed on a helpful pitch.

Except for Suman (23, 4x4), all others failed to cross the 16 run mark, and four of them were out for duck.

Though his best performance was 7/24 against Tripura, he rated today's performance as something very special as it came at a very crucial stage.

'There is no meaning to my performance if we fail to collect four points from this game,' he said.


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