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Bengal go down

Calcutta: After two back-to-back victories, Bengal suffered a 25-run defeat at the hands of Punjab in a Group A Knockout League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, in Indore, on Thursday.

After close wins against Baroda and Uttar Pradesh, Bengal couldn’t match Punjab’s all-round show, thereby losing their first match of the Knockout League.

Electing to bat, Punjab scored 168 for six in their stipulated 20 overs, and then restricted Bengal to 143 for eight.

Chasing 169 was not impossible, but Bengal failed to get off to a good start and that ultimately jarred their endeavour. Openers Sreevats Goswami and Subhomoy Das didn’t look very comfortable against Punjab’s pace attack. Though Sreevats found the boundaries — he hit six — his partner perished after just 14 balls, making just 11.

Sreevats lasted 27 balls and scored 33 runs, which later turned out to be the highest individual score of the team.

No. 3 batsman Anustup Mazumdar fared even worse as he was dismissed for just 2, castled by Amitoze Singh.

Last match hero Wriddhiman Saha, in partnership with Sreevats, tried to steady the chase, but was successful for only a brief period. When Sreevats fell in the ninth over, with the team score reading 52 for three, it was always going to be a difficult job for Bengal to make 169.

Earlier, Punjab benefited from opener Ravi Inder Singh’s 46-ball 60 to put up a good total on the board.