Bengal chased down a 319-run target with a ball to spare against Maharashtra in the quarter-final to keep their campaign for the Vijay Hazare Trophy alive. MS Dhoni-led Jharkhand cantered into the last four of the ongoing tournament with a comprehensive six-wicket win against Vidarbha in Delhi in a low-scoring game.
QF3 - Vidarbha vs Jharkhand
Jangid and Gurbani added 61 runs for the eighth wicket to take team past the three-figure mark and extend the innings to enable the team to bat their full quota of overs. However, with the side on 148 Jangid was run out for 62.
Pratyush Singh and Ishan Kishan then set the chase on course with a 68-run opening stand until the former was sent back by RD Thakur who bowled Kishan a bit later. Kumar Deobrat and Suarabh Tiwary returned to the pavilion after contributing 17 runs each leaving the side on 116 for four. Ishank Jaggi (41*) and MS Dhoni (18*) took the team to victory with a 49-run unbroken stand.
QF4 – Bengal vs Maharashtra
Bengal emerged winners in the high-scoring contest at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi as they beat Maharashtra by four wickets. While a total of 324 runs were scored at the Palam Ground in the third quarter final, a whopping 638 runs were scored in the fourth quarter-final.
After a modest start to the innings, the onslaught by the middle-order and the lower middle-order helped Maharashtra set Bengal a 319-run target. Having elected to bat first, the Kedar Jadhav-led team lost Ankit Bawane and NS Shaikh early in the innings and were 56 for two in the 16th over. Ruturaj Gaikwad who had held up one end was sent back Syan Gosh 40 runs later. Kedar Jadhav who then looked to up the ante and had survived a couple of chances during his knock, stitched a 52-run stand with Rahul Tripathi to set the innings on course. After the departure of the skipper with the team on 148, Tripathi launched into the opposition with Nikhil Naik. The pair clobbered the Bengal bowlers all over the park. They added 116 runs at a quick pace to grab the momentum from the opposition and set up the game.
Their blitzkrieg ended with Tripathi being sent back by Gosh for 95 while Naik was accounted for by Aamir Gani in the next. However, Shirkant Mundhe (20* off 10) and SM Kazi (20* of 12) too played cameos to take Maharashtra past 300 and set Bengal a stiff target.
Mundhe then struck early. He accounted for A Eswaran to leave Bengal on 25 for one. Agniv Pan then joined Shreevats Goswami in laying a foundation for the chase. The pair put together 81 runs until Kazi castled the No 3 bat. Tiwary then joined the opener to carry the innings forward. Jadhav then ended the blossoming partnership by trapping the opener lbw and a bit later also accounted for his opposite number to leave Bengal on 187 for four.
With the match precariously poised, Anustup Mujumdar joined forces with Sudip Chatterjee to take the game to the opposition. The pair batted determinedly and attacked with gusto to keep pace with the asking run rate. They clobbered the Maharashtra bowlers to tip the balance in Bengal’s favour as they built a 117-run stand.
However, with the match hanging in the balance with 15 runs needed to win, Mujumdar departed taking the aerial route off Mundhe in the penultimate over and Shaikh took a good catch. Chatterjee carried on with Kanishk Sheth and hit a six of the fifth ball of the over to take the side within sniffing distance of a win. With seven runs needed off the last over, Kazi who was handed the ball conceded two off the first two balls and dislodged Sheth’s bails off the third. But Gani, who then took guard picked two and followed up with boundary to take his side into the semi-finals with a ball to spare.