Tiwary does to Delhi what Bhatia did to hosts | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Tiwary does to Delhi what Bhatia did to hosts

The good thing for Bengal going into the fourth day is that they still have Tiwary, who is batting on 163, unflustered by irrational shots that led to Sourav Ganguly and Laxmi Ratan Shukla's dismissal in their bid to overhaul Delhi's first-innings total of 392.

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2011 01:48 IST
Nilankur Das

Going into the final day, Delhi need two wickets to ensure a first-innings lead. Bengal 35 more runs.

Bengal started the third day of their Ranji Trophy Super League match on 84 for four and finished on 358 for eight.

From a similar situation against Tamil Nadu here in their last match, they had succumbed to a 10-wicket loss. But this time they had Manoj Tiwary back in the side after India's one-day series against the West Indies.

The good thing for Bengal going into the fourth day is that they still have Tiwary, who is batting on 163, unflustered by irrational shots that led to Sourav Ganguly and Laxmi Ratan Shukla's dismissal in their bid to overhaul Delhi's first-innings total of 392.

With Tiwary is debutant Under-22 medium-pacer Veer Pratap Singh who is yet to score off the six balls he faced but played five of them with the full face of the bat.

In great form

Tiwary seems to be in the form of his life. He has now scored centuries in the last four matches he has played this season. That includes a maiden One-day International ton against the West Indies and a career-best 267 against Madhya Pradesh just before joining the India squad.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/16-12-11-metro22b.jpg

But Thursday's century was special. It was because even though Tiwary has carried the burden of Bengal's fragile batting, this knock came under a lot more pressure.

He returned to the Bengal squad after two matches which he missed because of national duty. He left as captain and rejoined when Ganguly had taken over the reins. Also, of the three Ranji Trophy centuries, this came when Bengal were chasing and on a wicket that has a fair bit of grass.

Ganguly and Tiwary began the day with positive intent. The first ball of the day went to the square-leg fence off the former India skipper's bat. Some exquisite shots followed, mostly from the left-hander's blade as Delhi bowlers seemed to find it difficult adjusting to the left-right combination.

Shikhar Dhawan dropped a regulation catch at second slip when Ganguly was on 19 and chose to cut Parwinder Awana. In the process, the Delhi opener hurt his fingers which were heavily bandaged and his left hand was in a sling for the rest of the day.

He is unlikely to play any more part in the match.

Squandering chance
But Ganguly failed to make Delhi pay for the mistake. He did race to 50 off just 43 balls but was undone by a moment of indiscretion.

He had already pulled left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan to the mid-wicket boundary twice in the over. But then, off the next ball he threw his bat at one well outside the off and was taken at gully.

Shukla was even luckier. He was bowled off a no ball on 21 and on 31 let off at slip by Ankur Julka. He was dismissed next ball unnecessarily trying for a big one over mid-wicket.

Tiwary at the other end kept his focus and waited for the loose balls.

He had his own way of dominating bowlers, once in a while putting good deliveries to the cover boundary.

The grass on the wicket has made the ball come on nicely and his drives on the up bisecting cover and mid-off made the day for many who had turned up to see a Ganguly classic.