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regular-article-logo Friday, 23 February 2024

Vijay Hazare Trophy: An­ustup’s fine century, disciplined bowlers take Bengal to pre-quarters

After defeating Punjab by 52 runs in Thane, Maharashtra, Bengal will next face Gujarat in Rajkot on Saturday for a place in the last eight of the domestic 50-over tournament. With five wins from six games, Bengal finished second in Group E with 20 points

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 06.12.23, 09:34 AM
Bengal chief coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla, flanked by Karan Lal (left) and Anustup Majumdar (right), after their win over Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Tuesday.

Bengal chief coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla, flanked by Karan Lal (left) and Anustup Majumdar (right), after their win over Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Tuesday. Picture courtesy CAB Media

Bengal, led by An­ustup Majumdar’s fine century and a disciplined job by their bowlers, earned themselves a place in the pre-quarter finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Tuesday.

After defeating Punjab by 52 runs in Thane, Maharashtra, Bengal will next face Gujarat in Rajkot on Saturday for a place in the last eight of the domestic 50-over tournament. With five wins from six games, Bengal finished second in Group E with 20 points.

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Bengal’s only defeat came against group toppers Tamil Nadu. But they did well to not let that affect their morale. “After the 84 all out versus Tamil Nadu, there was no blame game in our camp. All of us were focused on the turnaround. That game actually made the unit more determined,” said Sourasish Lahiri, a former Bengal player and current member of the team’s coaching staff.

After Anustup smashed an unbeaten 111 to help Bengal post 242/9, the spinners did a smart job by defending the modest total, with Shahbaz Ahmed and ambidextrous Kaushik Maity taking three wickets each. Pradipta Pramanik and Mohammad Kaif grabbed two wickets apiece.

In his 116-ball innings, Anustup struck 10 fours and two sixes. He was well supported by Karan Lal (66).

Brief scores: Bengal 242/9 in 50 ovs (Anustup Majumdar 111 n.o., Karan Lal 66; Baltej Singh 5/35). Punjab 190 in 24.1 ovs (Kaushik Maity 3/36, Shahbaz Ahmed 3/53). Bengal won by 52 runs.

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