Hazare Trophy: Bengal ease past Mumbai, enter finals

Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Vizag: Bengal pipped Mumbai by four wickets to advance into the finals of the All India Inter Zone one-day cricket event for the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Monday.

Mumbai opting to bat first posted a healthy 249/9 in 50 overs. Amol Mazumdar top scored with 71 inclusive four boundaries and a six while Ajinkya Rahane made a brisk 55 (6X4s&2X6s). Left-arm spinner  Iresh Saxena was the pick of Bengal bowlers with 4/50.

Bengal, in reply, stuttered early losing the wickets of S Lahiri and Majumdar within first ten overs. However Sreevats Goswami and Manoj Tiwary revived Bengal with a 67-run stand. India U-19 star Goswami made a labourous 83-ball 48 while Tiwary stroked a 46-ball 36. The duo departed in quick succession to leave Bengal in a bit of bothor at 110/4.

Skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (65 off 59) and Debarta Das (55* off 51) forged a fine partnership to ensure their side book final spot. The duo added a brisk 96 runs for the fifth wicket. Shukla's 59 ball knock was studded with six hits to fence and one over it while Das belted three fours and as many sixes. The qualifiers from the East Zone eventually romped home in the 46th over.

Bengal will face the winner of second semi-final played on Tuesday between Vidarbha and Saurashtra in the title clash slated on Apr 10 at the same venue

The Mumbai seamer D Kulkarni's initial burst of three quick wickets went in vain. Offie Ramesh Powar, who earned India recall, claimed 2 for 38.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai 249/9 in 50 overs (Amol Muzumdar 71, Ajinkya Rahane 55, Abishek Nayar 32; Iresh Saxena 4 for 50) lost to Bengal 250/6 in 45.4 overs (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 65, Debarta Das 55 n o, Sreevats Goswami 48, Manoj Tiwary 36; Kulkarni 3 for 45, Ramesh Powar 2 for 38).


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