Kalyani, Jan 21: Shahbaz Ahmed's maiden hat-trick in Ranji Trophy cricket earned Bengal a big win an innings and 303 runs over Hyderabad at home here today, that leap frogged the hosts to 2nd spot in Elite Group A and B in Round 6. Chasing Bengal's mammoth first innings total of 635/7 declared with help of unbeaten 303 from former captain Manoj Tiwary, the visiting Hyderabad collapsed at 171 and then were all out at 161 on follow on.
In his second season for Bengal left handed orthodox spinner Shahbaz Ahmed from Mewat in Haryana stole the limelight of the day with a maiden hattrick 4/26 in 8.3 overs against Hyderabad in first innings. Three-in-a row for Shahbaz Ahmed came a day after Manoj Tiwary hit his first tipple century in the first class cricket. Shahbaz three victims on a row were overnight notout batsman Jaweed Ali (72), Ravi Kiran (0) and wicketkeeper Kolla Sumath (8), While Ali was bowled, the last two were adjudged leg before the wicket. Shahbaz said his all straight bowling earned him hattrick as the two batsmen set their foot before the wickets as they thought the ball will turn. But it was not that the pitch was flat and plain.
However, pacer Akash Deep, who also took 4 wickets of Hyderabad in their second knock, finished top with 8/104, Shahbaz Ahmed 6/77 and strike bolwer Mukesh Kumar ended 3/66. The play ended inside three days. Thirty-five-year-old right handed batsman Manoj Tiwary was adjudged Man of the Match his tripple ton.
The handsome win at Bengal Cricket Academy ground aearned Bengal 7 points and elevated them to second spot with 19 points from five games in Elite Group A & B in which 18 teams are vying for qualification for the knockout stage. Punjab topped the list with 21 points. Hyderabad at bottom with 6 points from as many plays. (UNI)