Bengal-Hyd Ranji: 18 wickets tumble in one day

Bengal batsmen surrendered the intiative given by their seamers on a greentop Eden wicket to find themselves at sea in their own backyard as 18 wickets fell in the group A league match against Hyderabad on Saturday.

Put in, Hyderabad's first innings lasted for two hours and 28 minutes to be skittled out for 115 with Mohammad Shami Ahmed claiming 4/36.

In reply, Bengal were no different as they crumbled to the fury of pacer Ashish Reddy (5/30) and left-arm pacer Anwar Ahmed (3/30) to be tottering for 79/8 at stumps on the first day, still trailing Hyderabad by 36 runs.

Resuming the final session at 37 for one, Bengal collapse began soon after as they lost seven wickets in 15.5 overs in a space of one hour and 37 minutes.

Opener Arindam Das waged a lone battle as he was at the crease with a dogged 37 not out (100 balls) while Shami was unbeaten on zero, as Bengal were in danger of being bundled out inside 100.

Everything went according to the plan at the start of the day as skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who replaced an injured Manoj Tiwary at the helm, won the toss on a customised green-top.

The seamers took full advantage of the conditions to give Bengal the perfect start with Shami Ahmed giving the first breakthrough in the sixth over, castling skipper Akshat Reddy (5).

Veer Pratap Singh (3/31) gave a fine support at the other end as he rocked the Hyderabadi middle-order with the scalps of the talented Hanuma Vihari (15), K Sumanth (25) and B Sandeep (10) to be reduced to 58 for four in 19 overs.

Sayan Sekhar Mondal (1/20) bowled debutant Parth Jhala after the drinks break while skipper Shukla (2/21) also did a fine job with his medium-pace to bundle Hyderabad out in the post-lunch session.

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