Controversy surrounding Pragyan Ojha’s omission
Kolkata: Wriddhiman Saha justified his selection to the test squad with a blazing knock of 74 not out to guide Bengal to a 10 wicket win over Assam in the Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Chasing a modest total of 146 runs to win, Sreevats Goswami too chipped in with an attacking 71 runs to take his side home with 24 balls to spare.
In another East zone tie at the same venue, Jharkhand slumped to their third straight loss in the tournament when they lost to Tripura by 24 runs.
Inspired by a 38-ball 74 from opener Udiyan Bose, Tripura went on to post a total of 192 before restricting Jharkhand to 168.
Both Saha and Goswami were in devastating mood as they plundered the Assam bowling. Sreevats Goswami reached 50 off 38 balls, while Wriddhiman made his 50 off 33 balls.
Wriddhiman made amends for his brief stay at the wicket in the first match with a handsome 74 not out off 45 balls that had 11 boundaries and a six; Goswami was his able partner remaining unbeaten on 71 off 52 balls with 10 boundaries as Bengal reached 150 for no loss. None of the bowlers made any impression as Bengal wrapped up the match in style taking their points table to 8.
A relaxed Saha later told the media after the match, “We were in a positive frame of mind from the beginning. Our aim is to become the champion from our group.”
On his opening partnership with Sreevats, Saha said, “I have opened with Sreevats earlier as well. We have a good understanding between us.”
There was a mild controversy surrounding Pragyan Ojha’s ommission from the squad. According to a selector (does not want his name to be disclosed in media) said to xtratime.in, “He was dropped from the squad for his unimpressive performance against Tripura yesterday.”
Earlier, Assam won the toss and elected to bat and thanks to skipper Arun Kartick’s 76 not out posted a respectable total of 146 for nine. Three run out at crucial times and early breakthrough by Ashoke Dinda and Kanishk Seth meant that the innings never got the momentum it needed to get past the 150 barrier.
However, it was largely because of the single minded determination from Kartick that Assam posted a total more than 7 runs per over. His 76 runs came off 47 runs with five sixes and same number of boundaries.
Sayan Ghosh found rhythm and line as he rocked Assam packing the hard hitting Rishav Das and Amit Verma up the order and then rattled the stumps of Pritam Das at the death to put brakes on Assam’s momentum.
Bengal made three changes to the side that beat Tripura yesterday, bringing in Avishek Raman for Abhimanyu Easwaran, Writtick Chatterjee for Debabrata Das, who sat out with a hamstring injury, and Aamir Gani who came in for Pragyan Ojha.