Bengal on the threshold of an innings victory

Calcutta: One may have to flip through the history pages to recall when was the last time Bengal lorded over an opposition in a Ranji Trophy match.

At the Eden, on Monday, it was sheer dominance of Manoj Tiwary and his teammates that has put Bengal in the driving seat against a hapless Gujarat, who stare at an innings defeat.

A good 46 minutes of play were lost towards the end of Day Three as well due to bad light. But with the visitors already reeling at 18 for four having conceded a mammoth 266-run lead ' after Bengal declared at 526 for seven ' the proceedings could be wrapped up on Tuesday even before the fading light turns up to rescue Gujarat.

And to make matters worse for them, captain Parthiv Patel ' mainstay of the Gujarat batting ' was dismissed cheaply, adding just 12 to the scoresheet.

The one who's supposed to feel relieved at the moment is none other than Tiwary. The Bengal captain, after a precious 191 that set the tone for an imposing total, struck in his very first over to send Parthiv back.

The ball kept low and took the edge of Parthiv's bat before wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha pouched it on the second attempt.

The writing on the wall, thus, is imminent with Parthiv's departure. Surely, Tiwary couldn't have asked for anything better, especially in the presence of national selector Rajinder Singh Hans.

Unless and until there's a miracle, Bengal should walk home with seven vital points to be back in the hunt.

With the captain leading from the front, Anustup Majumdar (68) and all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla (113 not out) too starred on Monday, piling on further agony over their already battered opponents.

Majumdar, off-colour in his previous appearances, struck form when he himself needed it the most. The 28-year-old, under the scanner for not being among runs lately, had to hand over the vice-captaincy to Saha prior to this game.

Importantly, he produced a neat innings that should help in cementing his place in the batting order. Besides, his assured stay at the centre played a crucial role to get Bengal moving after a tad cautious and watchful start, resuming at 220 for four.

Acquiring the lead in the 18th over, Tiwary and Majumdar then were back to their normal styles. And there was no stopping the flow of runs.

Getting off to a rather quiet start, Tiwary had seen enough and began chancing his arms to bring up his 150 with a six and a four off pacer Rush Kalaria.

But much against the run of play, the 145-run stand (for the fifth wicket) ended as Majumdar was run out because of a misunderstanding. Gujarat bowlers had no respite, though.

In came Shukla, and he was on the ball right away with a flurry of boundaries.

The Tiwary-Shukla pair too hurt Gujarat, who themselves were responsible as well for their plight, having dished out stuffs that were as good as delicacies for Bengal batsmen.

Although Tiwary perished just nine short of a double-century, Shukla continued plundering runs to register his sixth first-class hundred in no time. That too, with a hoick over long-on to deposit left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhruv into the stands.

There was a reprieve, though, for Shukla when he was on 51, as Manprit Juneja dropped him at slip ' off the same bowler.

Pacer Shami Ahmed too chipped in with a useful 23 that allowed Shukla to play in his normal aggressive way, as this pair too added as many as 77 for the seventh wicket.

In a nutshell, sizeable partnerships too have contributed to Bengal's cause ' something that Gujarat need to learn for a better show in their coming matches.Manoj misses double century by nine runs; Shukla hits unbeaten 113

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan captain Shane Watson wins the toss and elects to field. More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »