Kolkata, Apr 3: Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha struck fluent half-centuries as Bengal cantered to an eight-wicket win over Jharkhand in their East Zone league match for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament at Eden Gardens here today.
Saha was more aggressive among the duo hitting seven boundaries and one six en route to 37-ball 54 in a 103-run partnership with Tiwary to set up the chase with 11 balls to spare as Bengal stepped closer to the main round with two wins from as many matches.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was unfortunate to be run-out returning a call for a non-existent single from Tiwary.
But it was too late for Jharkhand as Tiwary completed the chase, remaining unbeaten on 67 that came off 52 balls with six fours and one six.
Bengal never faced any difficulty chasing the challenging 153, after Saha and rookie Vivek Singh gave an aggressive start. Singh struck three boundaries in his run-a-ball 14 before being dismissed by Rahul Shukla but Saha kept his onslaught and found a fine ally in Tiwary to unsettle the Jharkhand attack.
Earlier, Bengal rode on some tidy bowling by rookie offspinner Aamir Gani (2/15) to pull things back after Jharkhand went off to a flier, courtesy Ishank Jaggi and Ishan Kishan's 46-run opening stand that came off 33 balls.
Gani gave the breakthrough in his third ball when Jaggi stepped out but could not clear the mid-on, misreading the flight to bring an end to his 24-ball 33 with five boundaries and one six.
But Jharkhand were let off by some indisciplined show from Bengal fielders who dropped three catches, including two off Kumar Deobrat whose 24-run cameo, from 16 balls with two sixes and one four, pushed their total to 152/9.
Jharkhand 152/9 in 20 overs (Ishank Jaggi 33, Kumar Deobrat 24; Aamir Gani 2/15, Ashok Dinda 2/31, Saurashish Lahiri 2/40) lost to Bengal 153/2 in 18.1 overs (Manoj Tiwary 67 not out, Wriddhiman Saha 54) by eight wickets.