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Bengal take crucial first innings lead

25th February 2022
Bengal took a crucial 37 first innings lead against Hyderabad bowling them out for 205 after scoring 242 in their first essay at Barabati stadium today.
Bengal’s total was propped up by a 76 run sixth wicket partnership after the top order flattered to deceive yet again. Ritwik Roy Chowdhury (33), Sayan Sekhar Mondal (34) and Anustup Majumdar (29) all got starts but could not convert them into big scores.
It was left to Shahbaz and Abhishek Porel to do the clean-up act yet again. Shahbaz scored a fine 40 ably supporting the inform Abhishek Porel who was bowled by Ravi Teja for 73. By then Bengal had reached a position of relative safety.
Mukesh said: "We were trying to get the rest after reducing Hyderabad to 70/7 but the wicket became much easier to bat on as the game progressed. We had to work hard to get wickets, while the pitch became flat."
"This wicket is different from the last match, we knew things will get hard for us as the game will progress so our (pacers') plan was to get as many wickets we can in earlier in the day. Our batters will have to set a good total, the wicket will become difficult for bowlers in the next two days, we will give our best to win this," he added.
However, it was Mukesh Kumar, who took all the accolades for the day scalping four Hyderabad wickets and virtually undermining their run chase. Had it not been for some late resistance from Ravi Teja, who remained unbeaten on 81, and Tanay Thyagrajan, who scored an accomplished 52, Hyderabad could be skittled off for a lower total as at one point they were 70 for seven.
At stumps Bengal were 16 for one with Abhimanyu Easwaran and Ritwik Roy Chowdhury batting on 10 and 3 respectively.

Rio Dutta