TMC wins inaugural Bengal T20 Challenge title

Tapan Memorial Club rode on skipper Shahbaz Ahmed’s all-round performance to beat Mohun Bagan by 33 runs and emerge champion in the inaugural Bengal T20 Challenge.

Tapan Memorial Club players celebrate after beating Mohun Bagan in the final of Bengal T20 Challenge.   -  Special Arrangement

Tapan Memorial Club rode on skipper Shahbaz Ahmed’s brilliant all-round performance to beat Mohun Bagan by 33 runs and emerge champion in the inaugural Bengal T20 Challenge at the Eden Gardens here on Wednesday.

TMC, inserted in, banked on Shahbaz’s superb half-century to post a fighting 145 for six and then again depended on his exceptional five-wicket haul to bundle out Bagan for 112.

TMC did not have an ideal start as it lost four batsmen, all of them getting bowled, for 40 runs.

Shahbaz (54, 41b, 2x4, 4x6) and Kaif Ahmed (39 n.o., 36b, 4x4, 1x6) played each ball on merit.

Despite concerns about his fitness, Shahbaz cut exquisitely and pulled spectacularly to gather most of his runs. He added 78 runs with Kaif before departing in the 18th over.

TMC gathered 52 runs in the last five overs.

With the pitch offering some help for the spinners, the chase was not easy. But Bagan, 61 for two after 10 overs, stayed on course till Vivek Singh (30, 34b, 2x4, 2x6) showed patience before falling to Ramesh Prasad in the 11th over.

Shahbaz applied pressure with his precise bowling and the Bagan batsmen made things easier for him by playing wayward shots. The TMC captain accounted for Sunil Dalal, Prince Yadav, Rajkumar Pal, Anustup Majumdar and Sayan Ghosh.

Majumdar (46, 32b, 4x4, 3x6) battled in vain as Bagan lost wickets in a heap.

The scores: Tapan Memorial Club 145/6 in 20 overs (Shahbaz Ahmed 54, Kaif Ahmed 39 n.o., Akash Deep 2/15, Rajkumar Pal 2/26) bt Mohun Bagan 112 in 18 overs (Anustup Majumdar 46, Vivek Singh 30, Shahbaz Ahmed 5/10, Ramesh Prasad 2/15).