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Bengal storm to Vijay Hazare final
18th March 2017
Bengal slammed Jharkhand by 41 runs in the Semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy to book a place in the final today at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi. Chasing Bengal’s 329 for 4, Jharkhand folded at 288 in 50 overs.
Put to bat by MS Dhoni, Bengal posted 329 for 4, riding an excellent 198 runs opening partnership between Shreevats Goswami (101) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (101), before Shreevats was trapped by Monu Kumar, reducing Bengal to 198 for 1. But Abhimanyu joined by skipper Manoj Tiwary kept on continuing, before being unfortunate with a run out, further reducing Bengal to 229 for 2.
However, captain Manoj Tiwary’s unbeaten 75 off 49 balls made sure Bengal’s putting up a mammoth 329 in their full quota.
Coming out field, Bengal bowlers looked confident with their line and length, making sure they defended the total comfortably.
However, at a time when skipper MS Dhoni and Ishank Jaggi looked to a give Jharkhand a fight back, with a partnership of 97 runs, Pragyan Ojha made sure their dreams were over, trapping Dhoni for 70 off 62 balls, reducing Jharkhand to 250 for 5 in 43.3 overs. While little hopes of Jharkhand were still alive with Ishank Jaggi batting, Sayan Ghosh put the final nail to the coffin, bagging his wicket at 59 off 43 balls.
Thereafter, wickets tumbled at a regular interval for Jharkhand, before they were finally bundled at 288 in 50 overs.
“It was a complete team effort. The batsmen batted to a perfection pacing the innings in a very matured manner. Then the bowlers Dinda, Sayan, Kanishk and Ojha all joined the party. It was a day when we played better cricket than our opposition in all departments,” said skipper Manoj Tiwary.
“Easwaran and Shreevats batted really well. They showed unbelievable maturity,” he added.
Abhimanyu Easwaran said, “Feeling good to have been able to perform well in this crucial tie. We were saying that we need to carry on as long as possible and play the balls on merit. But the bowlers also complemented us.”
Pragyan Ojha topped the bowling for Bengal, taking 5 for 71, backed by Kanishk Seth and Sayan Ghosh's two wickets each.
Now, Bengal will be playing the final match against Tamil Nadu at the same ground on March 20.

Sayan Banerjee