Bengal Conquers Vijay Hazare Trophy
After winning all its four matches against Assam, Orissa, Jharkhand and Tripura in the preliminary phase, Bengal qualified for the knockout phase of Vijat Hazare Trophy Limited Overs Tournament in 2011-12 that was played in Delhi.
En route to the final, Bengal defeated Madhya Pradesh in the Quarter Finals by 15 runs and overpowered Punjab by three wickets in the Semi Finals.
Even though the entire Bengal team displayed terrific spirit throughout the tournament, the final certainly belonged to one man – Lakshmi Ratan Shukla. Mumbai batted first and were all out for 248, thanks to Shukla's 4 for 38. In response, Bengal were 69 for 2 when Shukla came in. He took control playing some exquisite square cuts and lofting the spinners. He lost some of his partners, but found an able support from Anushtup Majumdar, who scored 50 off 45 deliveries. When Bengal reached the target with six wickets to spare, Lakshmi Ratan stood tall with a brilliant 106 not out off 90 balls.
Wriddhiman Saha scored consistently in the tournament, being the highest scorer with 395 runs at an average of 93.16 in 7 matches.
Following the footsteps of last year's Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy last year, this was Bengal's first triumph in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
According to the recommendation of the BCCI Technical Committee, Bengal will feature in the N.K.P. Salve Challenger Trophy as the champion of Vijay Hazare Trophy this year, along with two other teams that would be chosen by the BCCI Selectors.