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Bengal lose opening tie


5th February 2018
Bengal lost their opening Group B tie of Vijay Hazare Trophy against Maharashtra despite a fine ton from Abhimanyu Easwaran and some gutsy batting by Manoj Tiwari. Chasing 293 for nine, Maharashtra made 294 for 3 winning by 7 wickets.
Maharashtra won the toss and put Bengal to bat, immediately took control of the proceedings. Sreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran began steadily though reaching 43 in 10 overs before losing Sreevats for 18. Goswami did not find the measure of the pitch as he scored his quota off 32 balls. Vivek Singh also failed to last long, things changed dramatically as skipper Manoj Tiwari walked in.
Easwaran was in fine flow already cutting and driving at ease and now he was joined by Tiwari who looked in impereous form. The duo added 59 runs for the third wicket as Easwaran sent Maharashtra on a leather hunt enroute his 114 ball 103 runs embelished with a generous sprinkling of hits to the fence. Manoj, who played second fiddle to Abhimanyu, now decided to play the shots.
Anustup Majumdar played a cameo of 20 off 17 balls but he perished to a silly shot leaving the skipper to plough along alone. Bengal lost the last six wickets 51 runs even as Manoj did the bulk of scoring remaining unbeaten for 80 off 86 balls as Bengal finished at 293 for 9.
A fine show from Maharashtra skipper Rahul Tripathy who remained unbeaten on 125 off 102 balls and a swashbuckling 77 off 70 balls by Ruturaj Gaikwad made sure that they chased down Bengal's total in 45.5 over finishing on 294 for 3.
Manoj used as maby as eight bowlers but to little effect as Maharashtra won with ample to spare. Poor fielding and bowling marred the day for Bengal.

CAB MEDIA DESK
Arindam Basu