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Shahbaz bags 5 as Bengal take big lead vs Himachal

21st December 2022
Shahbaz Ahmed displayed a superb bowling performance claiming five wickets as Bengal took a vital 269-run second innings lead against Himachal Pradesh at stumps on Day 2 in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A clash at the Eden on Wednesday.
Besides Shahbaz (5-32), Ishan Porel (2-26), Akash Deep (2-50) and Sayan Shekhar Mandal (1-4) impressed with the ball as they bundled out Himachal for just 130 in their first innings after Bengal posted 310.
Bengal, in their second innings, were 89/1 at stumps on the second day with Koushik Ghosh (21) and Sudip Kumar Gharami (32) unbeaten at crease.
Earlier in the day, Himachal bagged the final wicket dismissing Anustup in the second ball of the day to end Bengal's first innings at 310.
In reply, Himachal dealt a body blow at the start of their innings as Shahbaz dismissed opener Raghav Dhawan (5).
Prashant Chopra (71 not out) kept his cool and played sensibly to add some crucial runs on the board.
But other Himachal batsmen trying to play some attacking shots threw their wicket away cheaply putting them in deep trouble at 38 for 5.
Lower-order batsman Mayank Dagar (18) added some much needed runs for the visitors before being dismissed to have Himachal in a spot of bother at 99/7.
Bengal bowlers didn't take much time to pack up the Himachal tail as the visitors folded for 130 in just 46.5 overs.
Speaking on his first five-wicket haul at the Eden, Shahbaz said," I am thankful to Manoj (Tiwary) bhai for giving me the opportunity to bowl early on and I happy to deliver for my team with both bat and ball. We will look to add as much as possible tomorrow and take the game away from them. Earlier I have picked two wickets here at Eden but bagging five is special."

Arindam Basu