Assam v Bengal, Ranji Trophy Plate League, Guwahati, 1st day December 5, 2008

Bose gives Bengal a headstart

Cricinfo staff

Bengal 118 for 5 (Tiwary 40*, Katti 3-44) lead Assam 86 (Bose 5-10, Dinda 3-41) by 32 runs

Bengal seem to have hit on a winning formula in the Ranji Trophy Plate League: bundle out the opposition cheaply, take a significant lead and then let the bowlers complete an innings rout. The method worked in their previous two games, and the process was set in motion against Assam by Ranadeb Bose's second first-innings' five-wicket haul in as many matches.

Assam, three points behind second-placed Bengal - both have a game in hand compared to Group B leaders Madhya Pradesh after their first-round clash was postponed - chose to bat, but they perhaps did the opposition a favour. After 12.2 overs, they were reeling on 15 for 5: one batsmen bowled, two leg-before and two caught behind off Bose's bowling.

Dhiraj Goswami made a quickfire 21-ball 17 to push the scoring along, but it was only wicketkeeper K Saikia's 31 at No. 10 that took them to 86. He was last man out, giving Ashok Dinda his third wicket for the innings.

Bengal's batsmen, though, faltered during their reply, with a triple-strike from left-arm spinner Anand Katti reducing them to 42 for 4 before Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha took them into the lead. Saha fell for 28, but Tiwary was unbeaten on 40 as Bengal ended the day on 118 for 5.