Tewari shine with brilliant double ton, Laxman perish for duck

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Kolkata, Nov 5 (UNI) It was a tale of two batsmen today as Manoj Tewari completed another classy double century to place Bengal on a mammoth 461 in their first innings at the Eden Gardens here in Ranji opener and in reply Hyderabad were at 65 for five with skipper VVS Laxman falling to a fourth ball duck.

Tewari stamped his authority over Hyderabad with an aggressive 203 and debutant wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha did himself a huge favour scoring a matured 111, as Bengal piled up a mamoth first innings total of 461.

Tiwari hit the inexperienced attack all round the ground to record his second double hundred, studded with 28 fours and two sixes. He brought up his 200 in characteristic fashion lofting one over off-spinner Amol Shinde's head to the long-on boundary.

But more fatigue than a sudden lapse of concentration saw him throw away his wicket just after the lunch interval. He charged down the track to hit left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha out of the park but missed the flight and was left stranded as rookie wicketkeeper Habeeb Ahmed wiped off the bails.

Ojha was the most successful of the lot today taking the wickets of R Bose and SS Paul.

The 23-year-old Saha, 23, became the 15th Bengal player to score a hundred on Ranji debut with 15 fours and a six during his 194-ball essay. He added 177 for the fifth wicket with Tewari and shepherded the home tail.

Weighed down by the mountain of runs, Hyderabad capitulated against a disciplined bowling attack, spearheaded by Shib Shankar Paul. However, it was Ranadeb Bose who struck first. But Paul broke the spine of the Hyderabad line-up removing captain Laxman for a duck and then got top-scorer Ravi Teja (39 from 58 balls).

But Laxman can only blame himself as he tried a reckless pull so early in the innings and was caught brilliantly by a diving Saha behind the stumps. Paul on his part was right on target and hit the deck hard troubling Laxman with his bounce.

With another 'Young Turk' Suresh Raina scoring an identical 203 against Orissa at Cuttack, Laxman may well have dug his own grave with the present national selectors preferring a ''Go Youth'' policy.

Spinners Sourasish Lahiri aand Murtaza Lodhgar joined the party picking up a wicket apiece before play was called off due to bad light, 15 overs short of the days stipulated 90 overs.

Still 386 runs behind, Hyderabad are up against it and Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla is looking for an innings victory.

''We are in a very good position. And if we can dismiss them early tomorrow, we can even achieve an innings win. But I am not ready to accept anything short of a direct win,'' Shukla said.

At stumps A Shinde and H Ahmed were batting on seven and one respectively. A Shinde had earlier taken three wickets for 95 runs.

And tomorrow the duo will have to do something special to peg things back for the visitors.

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