Jalaj Saxena struck and unbeaten century © PTI
Jalaj Saxena struck and unbeaten century © PTI

Nadaun: Manoj Tiwary‘s unbeaten half century went in vain as Bengal had to settle for a tie against Kerala in a thrilling Group B fixture of the Vijay Hazare Trophy  One-Day cricket tournament. Last year’s runner-up Bengal made a mockery of a modest 236 run chase as Kerala’s tidy bowling was backed up well by sharp fielding. Bengal kept losing wickets at regular intervals to remain winless from two matches to slip to fifth spot in the seven- team group. Bengal had lost their opening match to Maharashtra.

Opting to bat, opener Jalaj Saxena struck an unbeaten 100 off 133 balls to push Kerala’s total to 235 for six in their group opener. Bengal suffered two run outs including that of Kanishk Seth (8) by Arun Karthik in the last ball as Tiwary remained stranded at the other end in his 93-ball 73*. Needing 36 runs from 42 balls with five wickets in hand, Bengal batsmen made a harakiri losing three wickets in 18 runs as Kerala managed to return with two points.

Debutant Sumanta Gupta, who toiled hard for his 23 of 27 in a 47-run partnership with Tiwary, departed in the 47th over, while Aamir Gani got out in space of five balls to make the task tougher. Left-arm spinner KC Akshay (2 for 45) removed both the openers, Abhimanyu Easwaran (21) and Shreevats Goswami (26), inside 16 overs as Bengal struggled to get a partnership going.

Sandeep Warrier (2 for 38) and Abhishek Mohan (2 for 46) also bagged two wickets each as Tiwary was left frustrated in the middle.

Brief Scores: 

Kerala 235 for 6; 50 overs (Jalaj Saxena 100 not out; Manoj Tiwary 2 for 23, Sayan Ghosh 2 for 56) tied with Bengal 235 for 8; 50 overs (Manoj Tiwary 73 not out, Sandeep Warrier 2 for 38, KC Akshay 2 for 45, Abhishek Mohan 2 for 46).