Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017: Bengal Make It To The Last Four With Thrilling Win Over Maharashtra
Aamir Gani held his nerve under extreme pressure in the final over and struck a four on the second last ball to help Bengal defeat Maharashtra in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Chasing an imposing 319 to make it to the semifinal, Bengal did not begin strongly as Abhimanyu Easwaran returned to the pavilion after scoring only six. However, Shreevats Goswami (74) and Agniv Pan (47) set the tone for an exciting run-chase with an 81-run partnership for the second wicket. The partnership was broken when Pan was clean-bowled by Shamshuzama Kazi. But the wicket did not affect Bengal’s spirited chase as Goswami added 62-run with skipper Manoj Tiwary (40). Goswami and Tiwary’s departure in quick succession threatened to derail Bengal’s innings but Sudip Chatterjee (60*) and Anustup Majumder (66) brought Bengal right into the game by sharing a partnership of 117 runs for the fifth wicket. With seven needed from the final over, Bengal were looking destined to win the match but two runs and a wicket from the first three balls set the game for a nervy finish. Gani then scored six runs in the next balls to help his team make it to the last four.
Earlier, Kedar Jadhav’s decision to bat first was proved right straightaway as his batsmen, led by a brilliant 79-ball 95 run knock from Rahul Tripathi, put on a good show to help Maharashtra to score 319 for 6 in the allotted 50 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad (43) and Ankit Bawne (13) made a cautious start, adding 47 runs for the first wicket before Pragyan Ojha trapped Bawne. Nine runs later, Maharashtra suffered another setback as Naushad Khan was run out. But Kedar Jadhav (44), Rahul Triphati and Nikhil Naik (63) laid the platform for a big score before Shrikant Mundhe (20 from 10) and Shamshuzama Kazi (20 from 12) ended the innings strongly by adding 31 runs in the last three overs.
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