Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Bengal beat Jharkhand by 5 wickets to emerge as Group toppers

Sreevats Goswami top-scores for Bengal with an attacking 81 runs

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Sreevats Goswami scored 81 runs from 53 balls against Jharkhand at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Image Source: XtraTime

Kolkata: Bengal maintained their all win record in the zonal leg of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy today. In their last group league match, Manoj Tiwary and his team defeated Jharkhand by 5 wickets at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Sreevats Goswami played a stroke filled knock of 81 runs to guide Bengal home with 5 balls to spare.

Chasing 177 for victory Bengal reached the target losing just 5 wickets.

Srevats Goswami made his intent clear from the first ball as he came out and pulled Varun Aaron for successive boundaries and hit Sonu Singh over long off for a huge six. His 81 runs came off 53 balls with nine boundaries and two sixes. The wicket-keeper batsman is more at ease in the shorter format compared to the longer version. On being asked what has been the secret behind him scoring runs in shorter format,I like to be positive from the first ball. It clicks for me in the shorter format. I admit I have not done well in day’s cricket but I am working on my game. Last two years I have been doing well in the shorter format.”

Sreevats paced his innings well as he kept himself busy between the wickets rotating strikes and making sure the scoreboard kept ticking despite the early loss of Wriddhiman Saha. He was ably supported by Abhishek Raman and Promod Chandila. By the time Goswami was taken by Rahul Shukla caught at extra cover by Pratyush Singh.

“Chandila played a very important knock scoring a quick-fire 37 runs. That to me was a smart innings specially when Wriddhi got out early,” said Sreevats

Young guns Pramod Chandila and Abhishek Raman played a blinder as they took 21 runs off the 16th over and 17 off the next over to ensure that the match was within Bengal’s grip. Raman played a fine innings off 37 off 28 balls, while Pramod Chandila remained not out on 37 to give Benga an easy victory in the end.

Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary credited his teammates for the all-win record in the group stages. According to Manoj, “We had set our sights for an all-win record in the group stages which we did achieved. The entire credit goes to all the boys. Especially there have been a few youngsters who had emerged from this tournament while someone like Sreevats justified his selection. I am happy with the result.”

Earlier, Jharkhand put up an imposing 177 for six wickets, put into bat by Bengal. Some lusty hitting from Virat Singh and Saurabh Tiwary made sure Jharkhand set Bengal with a challenging total. Virat scored a stylish 42 off 29 balls with nine hits to the fence and skipper Saurabh’s quick-fire 44 off 31 balls with two boundaries and three sixes gave their innings the necessary momentum.

Ashoke Dinda with two wickets for 28 runs was the only bowler to make an impression.

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