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Bengal pip Maharashtra to reach Vijay Hazare semis


New Delhi, March 15: A clinical Bengal made their way into the Vijay Hazare semi-finals after beating Maharashtra by four wickets in the last over thriller fourth quarter-final at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Wednesday.

Chasing a mammoth 319, Bengal rode on half centuries from opener Shreevats Goswami (74), Anustup Majumdar (66) and Sudip Chatterjee (60 not out) to romp home with a ball to spare.

Bengal lost opener Abhimanyu Easwaran early in their chase but Goswami combined with Agniv Pan (47) to take Bengal past the three-figure mark with a 81-run second wicket stand.

After Pan's dismissal, skipper Manoj Tiwary (40) added another 56 runs with Goswami for the third wicket before the opening batsman was trapped in front by Maharashtra skipper Kedar Jadhav. Thereafter, it was the 117-run fifth-wicket partnership off 93 balls between Majumdar and Chatterjee which kept Bengal in the hunt. 

Bengal, however, found themselves in a bit of trouble when Majumdar was dismissed in the 49th over. With the side needing 15 runs off 10 balls, Chatterjee held his nerve along with Aamir Gani — who hit the winning runs in his two-ball stay — to take Bengal to the semi-finals.

Earlier, winning the toss and electing to bat, Maharashtra rode on a late flourish from Rahul Tripathi (95), and Nikhil Naik (63) to post a mammoth 318/6 after Jadhav (44) and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (43) set the tone.

Tripathi and Naik helped Maharashtra get closer to the 300-run mark before some lusty blows from Shrikant Mundhe (20 not out) and Shamsuzama Kazi (20 not out) helped the team set a stiff target.

Brief Scores: Maharashtra 318/6 (Rahul Tripathi 95, Nikhil Naik 63, Kedar Jadhav 44, Sayan Ghosh 2/61) lose to Bengal  320/6 (Shreevats Goswami 74, Anustup Majumdar 66, Sudip Chatterjee 60 not out, Kedar Jadhav 2/30) by four wickets.

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