Bengal defeated Karnataka in their must-win tie by 4 wickets only to see them not qualifying on net runrate for the next round of Vijay Hazare trophy today.
The proverbial spanner in the wheel was thrown when Tamil Nadu lost miserably to Baroda and Pondicherry defeated Mumbai ending Bengal’s hopes of qualifying for the knockouts.
With 12 points from 5 games four teams Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bengal and Pondicherry were placed in the same order in the table according to their respective runrates. More than two teams being on the same points brought the net runrate into play.
Bengal head coach Arun Lal said: “It’s really unfortunate, I am so disappointed for the boys as they have played fabulous white ball cricket. In fact in the last 3-4 years this is probably the best performance given in a very tough group crafted with strong teams. We won against Karnataka, Mumbai, Baroda while we were unfortunate to lose against Pondicherry because of the rain. I am convinced that if the rain had not come we would have won that game. I feel for the boys because they worked so hard and they played great cricket.”
“One good thing is Bengal cricket is moving in the right direction according to me. The youngsters pitching in, they are performing when needed, we are on the right track. They deserve more, in the T20s also, these boys deserve to go much higher. They certainly will, in the next 4-5 years we’ll see Bengal amongst the top 5 teams in the country,” he added.
Electing to bat first Karnataka were restricted to 216/5 as their captain Manish Pandey scored 90 while other batters remained silent in front of a dominating Bengal bowling attack.
While chasing Abhsihek Das gave Bengal brisk start with a fleunt 58 (48) and later skipper Sudip Chatterjee stepped up with a match-winning 63 to help Bengal with match by 4 wickets.
Ritwik Roy Chowdhury missed a well-deserved fifty by 1 runs after stitching 113 runs off the fourth wicket to put match in Bengal’s pocket.
Later Shahbaz Ahamad (26*), Subhankar Bal (22) ensured Bengal’s victory.
Akash Deep gave Karnataka an early setback removing Samarth R (17) followed by Writtick Chatterjee sending back a set Rohan Kadam on 37, to reduce them to 35/2.
Manish arrested the slide with his patient innings while Pardipta began to dismantle opponents with his spin. Karnataka skipper became Pradipta’s victim after the Bengal spinner opened his account by sending back experienced Karun Nair on 25.
Pradipta took 4 wickets leaking just 48 runs while pacer Akash bowled an excellent spell of 9-2-29-1 and Writtick bagged 2 wickets.
Pravin Dubey played a crucial 29-ball 37 not out to take Karnataka to 252.