Bengal v India B, Challenger Trophy, Rajkot October 1, 2012

Saha ton in vain as Bengal fall short

ESPNcricinfo staff

India B 328 for 8 (Pujara 124*, Vijay 93, Sandipan Das 5-51) beat Bengal 307 (Saha 116, Debabrata Das 49, Patel 4-39) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A defiant 116 by Wriddhiman Saha helped Bengal get close but couldn't prevent a 21-run defeat to India B in Rajkot. Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 124 took India B to 328 for 8 before the spirited chase - another close high-scoring match after Sunday's game.

Saha came in at 21 for 2 in the sixth over in what threatened to be another big Bengal defeat. He combined with Sandipan Das to add 140 for the third wicket, before Das was dismissed by Munaf Patel in the 30th over. Laxmi Shukla and Shubhomoy Das gave him support, but the chase looked beyond them after they were 228 for 6, needing another 101 runs off 63 balls. But hopes were kept alive by Debabrata Das and Sandipan Nandi, as they put on 47 runs in 4.4 overs.

But when Nandi got out, the task of securing the chase at a required run rate of more than nine runs per over proved too much for the tailenders. Patel did most of the damage with the ball for India B, taking four wickets and giving away only 39 runs in his 11 overs (one bowler is allowed to bowl 12 overs in a 50-over game, according to new BCCI's rules for List A matches).

With the bat, it was Cheteshwar Pujara who starred for them. Fresh from a big century on Sunday, he scored another unbeaten ton - a 130-ball 124 - to lead his team to a strong 328 for 8. His third wicket stand of 140 with Murali Vijay, who scored 93, laid the foundation for the big total. Although India B lost 5 for 50 runs in a middle-order stutter, largely through seamer Sandipan Das, No. 9 Praveen Kumar's 53 off 26 balls powered them to a score that proved beyond Bengal.

India B take on India A in the final on Tuesday.

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