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Ranji Trophy Final: Manoj Tiwary Confident Of Bengal Taking First Innings Lead Against Saurashtra

In reply to Bengal's 174 all out, Saurashtra were 81 for 2, trailing by 93 runs at stumps on Day 1, with in-form opener Harvik Desai batting on 38.

Bengal pacers lacked discipline and gave a lot of freebies to Saurashtra batters early on.
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Bengal batters' flop show may have given Saurashtra the opening day advantage on Thursday, but home side captain Manoj Tiwary made a tall claim that their bowlers can bundle out the visitors in another 60 runs in the first hour's play on Friday. (More Cricket News)

In reply to Bengal's 174 all out, Saurashtra were 81 for 2, trailing by 93 runs at stumps on Day 1, with in-form opener Harvik Desai batting on 38.

Saurashtra still have batters like Arpit Vasavada, Chirag Jani and Sheldon Jackson to come. The trio and Desai have scored the bulk of runs for Saurashtra this season with more than 2460 runs among them.

"I always tell the boys, we just need another eight wicket-taking balls. It may take you 20 overs or it can happen in just five overs. Important not to leak runs," Tiwary told reporters after the day's play. 

"Tomorrow's first hour's spell is most crucial. There is no question mark that we can get them all out in another 60 runs tomorrow. It's about belief, it's there in us. It's about executing on the field."

Bengal pacers lacked discipline and gave a lot of freebies to Saurashtra batters early on and Tiwary conceded that they may have been "carried away" by the expectation of playing in a final.

Bengal had lost to Saurashtra in the final three years back and were eyeing their first Ranji title after more than three decades.

"The discipline was missing in our bowling. They can tell if they got carried away, but batters also didn't click. Yes disappointed at day one's play, but we have the belief to come back from here," said the veteran Bengal skipper.

"We still have our heads high, we have come back many times in the league phase. We have had discussions, now it's up to execution. 

"If we bowl in the right areas, we can definitely come back. It's not over till the last ball."

On his batters' poor show, Tiwary said it was their "worst start of the season"

"We never had this sort of a start this season, and it had to happen in the opening session of a final. Obviously we were not good enough." 

SAURASHTRA EYEING BIG LEAD: COACH

Saurashtra coach Niraj Odedra, on the other hand, said his team is eyeing a "big lead" in the first innings.

Bengal lost half of their side for 35 in the first hour's play.

The opening hour's play, where the moisture-laden Eden wicket aids seam movement, may decide the course of the match.

"On this kind of wicket, a smaller lead will not be of help. We need to make sure that you play as long as possible and take it from there," said Odedra.

To their advantage, the Saurashtra top-order batted at a brisk pace and brought the deficit under 100 runs in just 17 overs with Bengal bowlers being wayward. 

"I don't think they were aggressive, they were playing their shots with the balls being offered. There is no point playing defensive brand of cricket," said the Saurashtra coach. 

"We will play on the merit of the ball. If it's there to defend we will defend, if it's a loose delivery we will go for it. 

"We play a positive brand of cricket. We are not going to change anything for tomorrow. Overall, it was a good day for us. We knew there would be some movements in the morning," he said.

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