Calcutta: Lifting your performance to the next level becomes crucial especially when you are up against a formidable opponent.
Bengal did so against Jharkhand and reaped rich dividends in the form of a 37-run victory over Jharkhand in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy zonal leg, at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College ground, on Tuesday.
This win takes Bengal a step closer to the main round of the competition. Now that they have got past the two strong teams in the zone, Bengal shouldn’t have many problems against lowly-placed Tripura, who they face on Wednesday. Securing full points against Tripura will make Bengal the frontrunner to go through to the next round as toppers from the zone.
Importantly, for Bengal, there was some change in the script as their batsmen finally made a decent contribution before bowlers swung into action to strangulate Jharkhand. Anustup Majumdar (33), Wriddhiman Saha (27 not out), Debabrata Das (30 not out) and Sreevats Goswami (21) — all of them played a part to ensure Bengal posted a competitive 149 for four after being put in by Jharkhand.
Among bowlers, Shami Ahmed (three for 20) striking in the very first over of the Jharkhand innings. The pacer first picked up Ashish Yadav before trapping Keshav Kumar lbw.
In his very next over, Shami sent Shiv Gautam back in a similar fashion, with Jharkhand reeling at five for three in the third over. Precisely, Shami’s initial burst had won Bengal half the battle. “Being an attacking bowler, I’m really pleased having taken the early wickets. It’s always a good feeling to contribute for the team. I just hope I carry on with this kind of performance,” Shami said.