After its first game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was washed out last week, Bengal coach Arun Lal had made it clear that his side couldn’t afford to lose any games if it was to stay on course for a knock-out berth.
On Tuesday, however, a collapse in the middle-order hurt Lal’s team as Bengal went down to Haryana by five wickets at the Bandra Kurla Complex.
Bengal got off to a fine start with both its openers -- Shreevats Goswami and Vivek Singh -- putting up 37 runs in just three overs. But things soon went haywire as Jayant Yadav dismissed Goswami and captain Abhimanyu Easwaran in a space of two deliveries.
Ashish Hooda removed Singh soon after, making matters worse for Bengal. From being at 37-0 at one stage, Bengal found itself reeling at 37-3. Even though Agniv Pan and Manoj Tiwary tried steadying the ship, their efforts were not enough. In the fag end, Shahbaz Jan played a knock of 28-ball 26 to ensure that the team reached a modest total of 122-8.
Against a strong bowling attack, the chase was always going to be difficult for Haryana. And Akash Deep did give Bengal an early edge, dismissing opener Chaitanya Bishnoi for two. Though Harshal Patel -- who played a knock of 35 -- and Treyaksh Puneet tried to regain stability, quick wickets by Shahbaz and Arnab Nandi saw Haryana struggling at 68-4.
However, Rohit Sharma stepped up with an unbeaten 28 to ensure the side reached home. In the process, he forged a 33-run partnership with Rahul Tewatia.
India international, Yuzvendra Chahal, who was part of the national team for the T20Is against Bangladesh, featured in the fixture for Haryana and scalped a wicket.
While teams will have a break on Wednesday, Haryana will face Pondicherry at the same venue on Thursday.
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