Vijay Hazare Trophy: Bengal win but miss knock-out berth
KOLKATA: The day after recording a comfortable win against Tripura, it was another walk in the park for Bengal as they thrashed Bihar by nine wickets in an Elite Group 'C' Vijay Hazare Trophy clash at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday.
But with Gujarat notching up their seventh win of the competition, Bengal were out of contention for a knockout berth. Gujarat took their tally to 28 points to seal second spot behind Tamil Nadu. Bengal, who moved up to 22 points, can reach 26 at best if they win their final game.
Bihar made a disastrous start after opting to bat first, losing a wicket each in the first two overs. They rallied through a 102-run third-wicket stand between Babul Kumar and MD Rahmatullah, but once Manoj Tiwary had the latter caught by Sayan Ghosh for 53, Bihar lost their way. Babul played a lone hand, scoring 93 off 124 balls (9x4, 1x6), as Bihar managed 216 seven.
Pacers Akash Deep picked up 3 for 45 while Sayan, replaying Ayan Bhattacharjee, ended with two for 44.
Openers Shreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran put on 52 to put Bengal on course. After Goswami fell for 23, skipper Easwaran led from the front to post his first century of the meet. Easwaran remained undefeated on 112 (122 balls, 10x4, 1x6), while Abhishek Raman was unbeaten on 61.
Bihar 216/7 in 50 overs (Babul Kumar 93, Md Rahamatullah 53, Akash Deep 3/45) lost to Bengal 217/1 in 40.2 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 112 not out, Abhishek Raman 61 not out).