The help Bengal got from legendary Indian captain Sourav Ganguly seems to have done the trick as Bengal beat Jharkhand by 41 runs to reach the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017. Twin centuries from openers Shreevats Goswami and A R Eswaran did their cause no harm either as they posted 329/4 after being asked to bat. In response, MS Dhoni’s heroics wasn’t enough to save the day for Jharkhand who were bowled out for 288 on the back of Pragyan Ojha’s five-fer.
A fire breaking out at the hotel where the players stayed not Dhoni’s impressive 70 was enough to stop Bengal from getting through to the final where they will now take on Tamil Nadu on Monday.
After winning the toss, MS Dhoni decided to put Bengal into bat and the decision didn’t get off to a good start early on. Bengal’s opening pair put on 198 inside 35 overs as they set the perfect platform for their side to book their berth in the final.
Goswami got out soon after getting to his century but his 99-ball 101 gave his side the perfect start after being put into bat. Eswaran got his century not too long afterward but he too couldn’t make it a huge hundred as he got out for 101.
From then onwards, it was captain Manoj Tiwary, who led the way for Bengal. He scored a 49-ball 75, which included seven fours and two sixes and remained unbeaten at the end of the innings to help his side post 329/4. Varun Aaron picked up two wickets but he went for 89 runs.
In response, Jharkhand didn’t get off to a great start as they lost their top three before getting 100 on the board. Saurabh Tiwary and MS Dhoni tried to steady the ship but Tiwary fell just two runs short of his fifty and left the captain with his protege in Ishan Kishan at the crease.
Kishan and Dhoni added 97 runs for the fifth wicket and with Dhoni accelerating soon after he got to his fifty and Kishan in good form too, Jharkhand believed they could claim victory from an improbable situation but it wasn’t to be.
Dhoni fell for 70 (off just 62 balls) and left Jharkhand with 90 runs to win off just 39 balls. If the task seemed improbable with Kishan and Dhoni at the crease, it just became almost impossible once Dhoni left and that proved to be the case even if Kishan tried his best with a 43-ball 59.
In the end, Pragyan Ojha, who took the crucial wicket of Dhoni, went on to wrap up the tail and secure a five-wicket haul and helped his side reach the final of the tournament which will see them take on Tamil Nadu in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017 on Monday, March 20. The game will take place at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi.