Vivek Singh hammered a half-century as Bengal cruised to a nine-wicket win over Mizoram in a one-sided Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy clash at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai on Saturday.
Taking on a rather inexperienced Mizoram side, Bengal restricted its opponent to a meagre 79-4 in 20 overs and then rode on an opening 66-run stand between Singh and Shreevats Goswami to romp home with 10 overs to spare.
After its first game against Assam was rained out on Friday, Bengal coach Arun Lal had admitted that his side needed to win at least five of its six games in a bid to stay alive for the knockouts. And his wards ensured that they gained the upper hand against a rookie side.
Opting to field first, pacer Akash Deep trapped Taruwar Kohli leg before for one. With its top batsman faltering, an inexperienced Mizoram middle order went on the defensive – something that went against them.
Even though captain K. B. Pawan, who remained unbeaten on 35, hit a couple of sixes in the last over, it was not enough.
Chasing a low total, the Bengal openers looked at ease. With no challenge from the Mizoram bowlers, Goswami, who remained unbeaten on 21, held the fort at one end, while Singh went for his shots.
Singh then got a reprieve on 26 when caught at cover off Llhruai Lalte. After a bit of consultation, the on-field umpires Amish Sahiba and Vineet Kulkarni realised that Lalte had stepped over the line, resulting in a no-ball.
For Singh, there was no looking back then. He crafted his knock of 52 with eight boundaries and a couple of sixes before being dismissed by Abhay Joshi. By then, Bengal was staring at a win and Goswami ensured that all went well.
Brief scores: Mizoram 79-4 (K. B. Pawan 35 not out; Akash Deep 2-9) lost to Bengal 82-1 (Vivek Singh 52, Shreevats Goswami 21 not out; Abhay Joshi 1-5).
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