TP Singh steamrolls Bengal
Chandigarh Lions 141 for 2 (TP Singh 74*) beat Royal Bengal Tigers 140 for 9 (Marshall 57, TP Singh 2-11, Hall 2-19) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A sparkling all-round performance from TP Singh ensured two crucial points for Chandigarh Lions against Royal Bengal Tigers. TP's unbeaten 74 and 2 for 11 boosted Chandigarh's chances of a semi-final spot; any talk of the absence of Chris Cairns and Dinesh Mongia making a big difference was laid to rest as Chandigarh coasted to a eight-wicket win.
Sarabjit Singh and TP ensured that Chandigarh were off to a solid start against a lacklustre Bengal bowling attack. While Sarabjit hit Lance Klusener's fuller deliveries for a four and six, TP came down heavily on Abu Nechim in his second over. They looked to rotate the strike thereafter, grabbing the odd boundary.
TP was lucky to be put down in the sixth over by Shibsagar Singh off the bowling of Eklak Ahmid. That was the last of the chances presented by the batsman, but his partner wasn't that lucky as Shibsagar latched on to the chance off the same bowler.
New man Manish Sharma took time to get going and launched into Ahmid in his third over dispatching him twice to the boundary. But just as Chandigarh looked to have the match secure, Sharma was caught off Upul Chandana. TP Singh and Lou Vincent, though, ensured there were no last-minute jitters, reaching the target with 15 balls to spare.
Bengal weren't off to the best of starts after Chandigarh's new captain Andrew Hall had put them in. Deep Dasgupta fished at a wide delivery from Daryl Tuffey in the second over, only to edge it to wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh.
Marshall was in good touch, as he has been for most of the tournament, coming down severely on Tuffey in his second over, which went for 20. A boundary straight down the ground off the first ball was followed by shots over mid-off and point, before he capped it with a six over the bowler's head.
While Rajiv Kumar took two boundaries off Love Ablish the next over, Amit Uniyal faced the wrath of Marshall in the following over as he plundered three boundaries. Even when Rajiv fell with the score on 67, it seemed Bengal were on course for a big score, but there was a twist in the offing.
Tuffey had Marshall was caught by Ablish at third man before TP stepped in. Rohan Gavaskar held out to Ablish at long off trying to lift him for six. TP was soon on a hat-trick when he trapped Craig McMillan leg-before the next ball, only for Andre Adams to safely negotiate the third ball.
But Adams was a touch unlikely to be given out lbw to an Ablish delivery that seemed to be going down leg and though the on-field umpire ruled in favour of the batsman, the appeal was upheld by the third umpire. Shibsagar, Chandana and Nechim didn't last long either and Klusener was stranded at the other end. Bengal finally stuttered to 140, managing just 40 runs in their last eight overs.