New Delhi: Bengal held their nerve beating Maharashtra by four wickets in a high-scoring thriller to set up a clash with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Jharkhand in the semifinal of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Chasing a stiff target of 319, Bengal won the match when young Amir Gani lofted off-spinner Shamshuzama Kazi for a boundary off the penultimate ball of the match.
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Jharkhand scored a six-wicket win over Viarbha in another quarterfinal. Dhoni's men restricted Vidarbha to 159/9 and chased it down with almost five overs to spare.
The turning point in the Bengal-Maharashtra game was a 117-run stand for the fifth wicket between Sudeep Chatterjee (60 not out off 51 balls) and Anushtup Majumdar (66, 59 balls) after Bengal were in some trouble at 187/4. This was after set batsman Shreevats Goswami (74, 88 balls) and skipper Manoj Tiwary (40) were sent back in quick succession by rival captain Kedar Jadhav.
Maharashtra had scored 318/6 riding on Rahul Tripathi's 74-ball-95 and Nikhil Naik's 63. Kedar Jadhav contributed 44.
It was Sudeep's temperament and Anushtup's audacious strokes blended with deft touchplay that ensured Bengal never lost the momentum keeping up with the run-rate at a steady pace.
Sudeep's innings had four boundaries and two sixes -- both off left-arm spinner Jagdish Zope.
Brief scores: Maharashtra 318/6 in 50 overs (Rahul Tripathi 95, Nikhil Naik 63, Kedar Jadhav 44, Amir Gani 2/70) lost to Bengal 320/6 in 49.5 overs (Shreevats Goswami 74, Anushtup Majumdar 66, Sudeep Chatterjee 60 no, Agniv Pan 47, Manoj Tiwary 40).
Vidarbha 159/9 in 50 overs (Ravi Jangid 62; Monu Kumar 2/62) lost to Jharkhand 165/4 in 45.1 overs (Ishank Jaggi 41 not out).