Dasgupta blasts Bengal to thumping win
Royal Bengal Tigers 175 for 2 (Dasgupta 80, Gavaskar 51) beat Dhaka Warriors 172 for 7 (Kapali 65, Aftab 61) by eight wickets
Sparking half-centuries from Aftab Ahmed and Alok Kapali carried the Dhaka Warriors to a competitive 172, but Deep Dasgupta's blistering unbeaten 80 helped the Bengal Royal Tigers overhaul that with eight deliveries and eight wickets remaining. Dhaka's medium-pacers had been unable to tie down the runs in the tournament, and it was yet another disappointing performance. Bengal knocked off the runs with ease, thanks to Dasgupta's 109-run stand in 12.3 overs with Rohan Gavaskar.
By the time Hamish Marshall was bowled by Mosharraf Hossain, Bengal had rattled away 41 in 4.3 overs. Gavaskar was promoted to No. 3 - he hit 30 off 12 balls against the Mumbai Champs recently - and he offered perfect support to Dasgupta, who was aggressive from the off, striking the ball with power and placement. Gavaskar ran the singles well, but it was Dasgupta's ability to find the boundary that frustrated Dhaka. Either making room to drill the ball over extra cover or rock back to pull the errant deliveries, he was unstoppable.
Gavaskar's first ICL half-century consumed 32 balls and included some soft-handed steers to third man to compliment three sixes. Mohammad Rafique got him lbw for 51 with the last ball of the 17th over, but in the next Klusener had an lbw appeal overturned after it was reviewed by the television umpire. A second six from Dasgupta, effortlessly lifted over midwicket, hastened victory in the same over, and it was all over when Klusener thumped his second six.
After electing to field, Bengal struck in the first over when Klusener had Nazimuddin caught by Upul Chandana for 2. Clearly unaffected by his opening partner's departure, however, Aftab hit Abu Nechim for two sixes in one over, using his feet superbly. Shahriar Nafees chipped Eklak Ahmid's first delivery to Adams at deep midwicket but Aftab remained in a different zone.
He crunched boundaries either side of the pitch and when Chandana was brought on as Dhaka's 50 came up in six overs, Aftab welcomed him with a six and a four. The third six raised his fifty from just 30 deliveries. A miscued pull ballooned back to Ahmid to cut short a thrilling innings on 61, from 42 balls. Mahbubul Karim swung and missed to be bowled by Ahmid for 4 to make it 123 for 4.
A bent-knee six from Kapali only minimally dented Ahmid's very creditable 3 for 20 from four overs, but that was just the start. A lovely short-arm jab brought Kapali his fourth six in the same direction and he raised his fifty from 27 balls. Adams served up a chest-high full toss and Kapali steered it over third man for six more. Chasing a rising delivery from Klusener, Kapali was smartly stumped by Dasgupta in the penultimate over. His 65, with five sixes, had apparently done plenty of damage, but Dhaka's bowlers had another poor outing.