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Bengal enter semi-final of Vijay Hazare to run into Dhoni’s men
15th March 2017
An all round show from Bengal saw them defeat Maharashtra in a humdinger quarter finals of Vijay Hazare Trophy today at Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi. True to their form Bengal chased down a formidable 318 for 6 posted by Maharashtra, with just one ball to spare.
This is also the first time that Bengal has chased down a total as high as 318 in limited over matches finishing on 320 for 6. Bengal take on Jharkhand in the semi-finals.
Maharashtra won the toss and chose to bat on a flat and slow track and crossed the 300 mark to put on the psychological pressure on Bengal. But the men in blue had other ideas. An 81 run partnership between Sreevats Goswami and Agniv Pan saw Bengal motor along at decent pace. Sreevats again showed rich form scoring 74 runs up the order along with a free-striking Agniv whose 47 runs came off just 37 balls.
“I am very happy with the show of the team. We are in a positive zone in our mind and hope to carry it forward going into the semi-finals. The batsmen had a superb game and Anustup and Sudip paced their inni9ngs to perfection. It is a happy dressing room,” Manoj Tiwary said.
As Maharashtra tightened the screws in the middle overs, Manoj Tiwary played a patient 40 along with Sreevats first and then Sudip Chatterjee to take the team ahead. But he got6 out with Bengal on 187 and suddenly the equation looked difficult. But once again the left-right combination came in handy as Anustup Majumdar and Sudip Chatterjee put on 117 runs for the fifth wicket to take Bengal close to the total. When Anustup mistimed a shot to get out on 66 (59 balls) Bengal was on 304.
However, Sudip and Amir Goni made sure that Bengal made it to the semi-finals a second time in three years. Bengal last won the tournament in 2011-12.
Earlier, Maharashtra posted a big total thanks to Kedar Jhadav’s 44, R Tripathy’s 95 and Naik’s 63. For Bengal Amir Gani amnd Sayan Ghosh got6 two wickets each, while Pragyan Ojha scalped one.
Talking about the opposition in the semi-final, he said: “Jharkhand is a good side. Any side that reaches the semi-final is playing good cricket. They also have M S Dhoni in their ranks. But having said that we are playing good cricket and though we respect all our opposition we are quietly confident in our abilities,” he added.

Arindam Basu