Vijay Hazare Trophy: Parthiv Patel guides Gujarat into quarterfinals

Gujarat finished with 16 points tied with Mumbai but progressed on a better net run rate.

Parthiv Patel smashed 13 fours in his 82-ball 88.   -  PTI

Skipper Parthiv Patel smashed a 82-ball 88 to build on an impressive bowling effort from his spinners to guide Gujarat into the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Bengal in the final Group ‘C’ league match here on Monday.

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Gujarat finished with 16 points tied with Mumbai but progressed on a better net run rate.

With an eye on NRR, Gujarat invited Bengal to go first and Jasprit Bumrah did the early damage, picking the first two wickets before left-arm spinner Ashav Panchal and off-spinner Rujul Bhatt turned the screws during the middle overs to restrict Bengal to just 168.

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Bumrah came around the wicket to left-handers Shreevats Goswami and Sudip Chatterjee scalping them both caught behind. Opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, who has already smashed two half-centuries and ton so far, set the tone for Bengal’s innings once again scoring freely with boundaries through the covers off the pacers.

Panchal then removed skipper Manoj Tiwary before dismissing Easwaran after the latter missed a simple left-arm spinning delivery while playing down the wrong line. Bengal were reduced to 58 for four by the 23rd over.

In his first spell, Panchal had figures of two for 12 from seven overs. At the other end, Rujul Bhatt took advantage of the situation, keeping things tight as he snapped two wickets and bowled his quota at a stretch to finish with figures of two for 26.

Fighting knocks from Aamir Gani (37) and Ashoke Dinda (33) and few big hits from Mohammed Shami took Bengal past 150 but the Gujarat medium pacers came back to clean up the tail before any sustained damage was effected.

After Mumbai thrashed Goa chasing 96 in just 5.4 overs in the other match, Gujarat needed to chase down the target in 41.2 overs. Parthiv Patel made good use of his luck after he was dismissed off a no-ball from Ashok Dinda when he was caught at slip on four. He then smashed 13 boundaries in his knock to help Gujarat chase down the target in just 28 overs.

Brief scores:

Bengal 168 in 49.1 overs (Abhimanyu Eswaran 37, Aamir Gani 37, Ashoke Dinda 33, Jasprit Bumrah three for 27) lost to Gujarat 172 for three in 28 overs (Parthiv Patel 88, Bhargav Merai 24 n.o.). Points: Bengal 0 (20); Gujarat 4 (16).

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