Vijay Hazare Trophy: Tripathi's century guides Maharashtra past Bengal

Maharashtra captain Rahul Tripathi's 102–ball 125 run knock guided his side to a seven-wicket win over Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Monday.

Maharashtra's Rahul Tripathi after scoring a match-winning century against Bengal.   -  Y.B. Sarangi

Captain Rahul Tripathi's maiden List A hundred guided Maharashtra to a convincing seven-wicket win over Bengal in its opening Group B Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day match at the A. B. Vajpayee Stadium here on Monday.

Tripathi's magnificent 102–ball 125, containing 12 fours and four sixes, overshadowed Abhimanyu Easwaran's century, which had enabled Bengal to post a formidable total of 293 for nine after being asked to bat first.

Maharashtra overhauled the target with plenty to spare.

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Tripathi enjoyed his new responsibility as he formed partnerships worth 80, 42 and 107 with Ruturaj Gaikwad (77 off 70 balls), Ankit Bawne (22 off 25) and Naushad Shaikh (39 not out off 32) respectively following a sound 65-run platform laid by openers Gaikwad and Vijay Zol (24).

When Gaikwad was in full flow, cutting and pulling the Bengal pacers spectacularly, Tripathi provided him support. After the fall of Gaikwad, who was run out due to a terrible mix-up, the Maharashtra skipper maintained his composure. He had a good rapport with his partners while running aggressively between wickets.

Tripathi also unleashed some entertaining strokes, predominantly on the onside, to switch gear at the right time as Bengal bowlers struggled with their line and length. “Whatever responsibility I get, I try to give my best. Here spending time was important in order to reach the target,” said Tripathi.

Bengal's below par ground fielding also made Maharastra's chase easier.

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Abhimanyu's show of application in the morning boosted Bengal. The technically sound opener relished his timing and placement to rotate the strike apart from gathering good looking boundaries on both sides. He added 43 with Shreevats Goswami (18), 91 with Vivek Singh (31) and 59 with Manoj Tiwary (80 not out) to set the stage for Bengal to go for a big total.

Abhimanyu (103 off 114, 12x4) stepped out to hit left-arm spinner Satyajit Bacchav to midwicket for a four and get his third List A century. He was bowled while trying to cut the next delivery. Maharashtra bowlers kept it tight in the slog overs to deny Bengal a 300-plus aggregate.

At Bilaspur, Unmukt Chand's valiant hundred (116 off 125, 12x4, 3x6) enabled Delhi to beat Uttar Pradesh by 55 runs.

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With broken jaws, Unmukt stood for four solid partnerships – 107 with fellow opener Hiten Dalal (57), 53 with Dhruv Shorey (31), 67 with Nitish Rana (31) and 36 with Rishabh Pant (28) – as Delhi registered 307 for six.

“It is an important hundred because it has come at a time when I needed it the most. I enjoyed batting and getting my confidence back. I have gone through a tough time this season. It feels nice to have contributed to a winning cause,” said Unmukt.

 

The scores:

At Amtar: Bengal 293 for nine in 50 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 103, MAnoj Tiwary 80 not out) lost to Maharashtra 294 for three in 45.5 overs (Rahul Tripathi 125 not out, Ruturaj Gaikwad 77).

At Bilaspur: Delhi 307 for six in 50 overs (Unmukt Chand 116, Hiten Dalal 57) bt Uttar Pradesh 252 in 45.3 overs (Umang Sharma 102, Akshdeep Nath 54, Kulwant Khejroliya four for 34, Pradeep Sangwan three for 28).

At Dharamshala: Tripura 229 for nine in 50 overs (Yashpal Singh 113, R.A. Dey 47, V.K. Galetiya three for 21, Pankaj Jaswal three for 36, Rishi Dhawan three for 58) lost to Himachal Pradesh 230 for four in 45.2 overs (A.R. Kumar 101 not out, Sumeet Verma 55, Nikhil Gangta 40).

 

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