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Bengal win, keep Vijay Hazare knockouts hopes alive

21st November 2022
Sudip Gharami (162) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (122) smashed fantastic centuries each as a stupendous batting performance from Bengal helped them beat Services by 47 runs in their final Elite Group E clash in Ranchi on Monday.
The win kept their hopes alive of making it to the Vijay Hazare Trophy knockout rounds.
Placed in the second spot in the group with 16 points, Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s men will now have to wait for the results of the final round of matches on Wednesday to find out if they can progress into the knockouts.
Put into bat, a top-class batting effort from Bengal helped them post a mammoth 426/4 in 50 overs.
In reply, Services were restricted to 379/9 in 50 overs, thanks to a fine bowling effort from Shahbaz Ahmed (4-58) and Pradipta Pramanik (3-83).
Chasing a huge target, Services batsmen Arjun Sharma (75), Rajat Paliwal (65), Devender Lohchab (58), Shubham Rohilla (57) and Anshul Gupta (51) all played crucial knocks but wickets at the end handed Bengal four vital points.
Earlier in the day, in-form openers Gharami and Easwaran got Bengal off to a smashing start scoring 94 for no loss in the 15th over.
Piling more misery on the opposition, both the batsmen smashed centuries each to take the team past 250-run mark without losing a wicket.
Services managed to break the partnership in the 41th over dismissing Gharami with Bengal’s score at 298.
Shahbaz, promoted at No. 3, played a late blinder scoring 59 off just 28 balls.
In Kolkata (Group B matches)

-Karnataka (121/4 in 24.4 overs) beat Sikkim (117 all out in 46.2 overs) by 6 wickets.
- Rajasthan (390/4 in 50 overs) beat Meghalaya (94 all out in 36.1 overs) by 296 runs.
- Jharkhand (260/5 in 48.5 overs) beat Delhi (259/5 in 50 overs) by 5 wickets.
- Assam (262/3 in 47.3 overs) beat Vidarbha (261/9 in 50 overs) by seven wickets.

Arindam Basu