Vijay Hazare: Bowlers star as Gujarat beats Bengal

Defending a paltry target of 214 runs, Gujarat lacked intent in the first few overs as its pace bowlers erred in line and lacked control but spinners ruled the roost as Bengal slumped to a loss.

A file photo of Gujarat's Priyank Panchal in action. Panchal scored 50 as Gujarat scored 214 and the bowlers later set up a win.   -  K. Pichumani

Roosh Kalaria bowled an inspired spell of fast bowling as Gujarat scripted a brilliant fightback to beat Bengal by 41 runs in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group C match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. 

Defending a paltry target of 214 runs, Gujarat lacked intent in the first few overs as its pace bowlers erred in line and lacked control.

Although Karalia was successful in packing off Vivek Singh, his partner Arzan Nagwaswala was guilty of letting the batsmen off the hook. 

As it happened

Shreevats Goswami then cashed in on the bowler's erring line and length by punishing him for two consecutive boundaries as Bengal brought its fifty in no time. A confident Goswami had already scored three exquisite boundaries and was looking in ominous touch.

Gujarat needed a breakthrough and with the fast bowlers leaking runs, skipper Parthiv Patel introduced spin. The move paid rich dividends as right-arm off-break bowler Karan Patel trapped Goswami plumb.

Bengal fell in Gujarat's spin trap as Manoj Tiwary went on an attacking mode but eventually perished. 

The fall of Goswami didn't slow down Bengal's momentum and the asking rate was never an issue. However, Patel persisted with spin as Piyush Chawla removed Tiwary. Gujarat found an inspiration, its fielders had a spring on their feet and Kalaria who was taken off the attack returned rejuvenated. 

There was pace and the left-arm bowler found the extra zip to trouble the batsman. Kalaria castled Sudip Chatterjee with a peach of a delivery that came back in sharply to knockout the middle stump.

The Bengal batsmen then paraded in quick succession as it was bundled out for 173 in 44.2 overs. 

While Kalaria took three wickets, Karan, Hardik Patel and Rujul Bhatt took two wickets each.

Earlier, electing to bat first, Priyank Panchal scored a fine half-century as Gujarat posted 214. 

Priyank and Parthiv laid the foundation with a 72-run opening stand. However, the fall of Parthiv saw Gujarat losing wickets at key moments. 

The likes of Bhargav Merai, Chirag Gandhi and Rujul got starts but failed to contribute in substantiate fashion.

Bengal fielders were like live wires — especially Vivek Singh who took four catches and effected a run-out — and its bowlers on the money as they kept the Gujarat batsmen at bay. 

While the Gujarat middle-order lacked application, its lower-order threw away wickets by getting involved in run-outs. 

Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar and Pradipta Pramanik were the pick of the bowlers and shared six wickets between themselves. 

Brief scores: Gujarat 214/9 (Priyank Panchal 50, Rujul Bhatt 38, Pradipta Pramanik 2/36, Mukesh Kumar 2/43, Ishan Porel 2/50) bt Bengal 173 (Sudip Chatterjee 36, Manoj Tiwary 34, Roosh Kalaria 3/31, Rujul Bhatt 2/22, Hardik Patel 2/29) by 41 runs.

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