Vijay Hazare Trophy 2012-13, quarter-finals February 28, 2013

Bengal crush Karnataka, Assam stun Mumbai

ESPNcricinfo staff

Assam 178 (Roy 69, Gokul 51, Salvi 3-25) beat Mumbai 151 (Shaikh 42, Nechim 3-31) by 27 runs

Assam reached the semi-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy for the first time by beating previous season's finalists Mumbai by 27 runs. It was double delight for Assam, as they had never defeated the 40-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai before in any format, an outcome that delighted their captain and fast bowler Abu Nechim.

"It is a huge achievement to beat a side like Mumbai," Nechim, who also plays for Mumbai Indians, told ESPNcricinfo. "I have been playing for Assam for so many years and we have not had a result like this for a long time. The entire team is very happy and this win is for all the people of Assam.

"A win like this can take you places. Who knows, it might even open up a chance for some of the young players in the team to play for India or in the IPL."

The result was even more pleasing for Nechim as his side bounced back after having been bowled out for an underwhelming 178. Nechim told his players not to lose heart during the innings break. "I told them we still had a chance with the ball and should go out and give it our best shot. That was the only option we had really."

Assam came out with purpose. Mumbai were reduced to 6 for 3, and 39 for 4, chasing a modest target and could never get going. Wasim Jaffer was bowled in the first over for 5 by Nechim and Rohit Sharma was bowled in the second over for a duck by Arup Das. Shoaib Shaikh (42) and Ankeet Chavan (36) took Mumbai past 100 but following the former's dismissal by Gokul Sharma, Mumbai lost regular wickets to be dismissed for 151. Nechim himself led the way with a haul of 3 for 31 while Pritam Das accounted for the counter-attacking Siddhesh Lad and Chavan.

Aavishkar Salvi's opening burst had Assam tottering at 30 for 3 after Mumbai chose to field but a 92-run fifth-wicket stand between Sibsankar Roy and Gokul revived the innings. Assam were in a decent position at 147 for 4 in the 40th over but the lower order fell apart as the innings folded for 178, which proved enough in the end.

Despite what the win meant for them, Nechim and his side had a semi-final against Kerala to concentrate on and could not afford to spend time in too many celebrations. "We have another big match coming up. What we did was all of us got together in my room after the game. All the players and the coach, we spoke about what had happened today."

Bengal 128 for 0 (Goswami 70*, Saha 52*) beat Karnataka 127 (Shami 3-32, Veer Pratap 3-40) by ten wickets

Defending champions Bengal crushed Karnataka by ten wickets to set up a semi-final clash against Delhi. The seam trio of Shami Ahmed, Veer Pratap Singh and Laxmi Shukla ripped through the Karnataka line-up after Bengal chose to bowl. Karnataka were 57 for 6 at one stage with only Manish Pandey (28) among the top six getting into double figures. The lower order scraped Karnataka to 127 before they were dismissed in the 33rd over.

The Bengal openers Shreevats Goswami and Wriddhiman Saha saw off the new ball and proceeded to knock off the target in the 29th over, with Goswami finishing on a stroke-filled 70 off 79 deliveries.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Yes...snail pace man like Praveen Kumar and Bhubaneshwar Kumar will keep getting chances... Abu Nechim won't... I wish politics does get better of whatever good Indian cricket has...

  • Binu on March 1, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Abu Nechim made a big mistake by joining Mumbai Indians for warming the bench,India need fast bowlers but always they ignored two bowlers Abu Nechim and Pradeep Sangwan , all other names wil come while India selections

  • Sarobar on March 1, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    @Mit Chowdhury: If Assam qualifies for the Knock-Outs they ill not have to play Pre-Quarter Finals, the same treatment which Bengal, Delhi and Kerala will also get.

  • sarat on March 1, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Congratulations to Assam for playing their heart out and reaching semi final. Hope selectors will look at the talents and do justice........... Best of luck.....

  • sunny on March 1, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    Instead of giving Rohit Sarma 100s of chances why not give Nechim a single chance to prove himself.We do have so called talented batsmen like rohit by the dozen.bowling has always been our perennial problem so why not encourage a good talent like Nechim.If not given a chance now he sure is going to vanish into oblivion like many others.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    So will Assam again play a *pre* quarter-final next year? Or will it get some elitist treatment? ;)

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    Wishing the defending champions Bengal the very best..

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Please play Abu Nechim Ahmed because currently he is the fastest bowler in Indian Domestic circuit. He also swings it at a good pace and is fairly accurate. I hope the selectors are watching cause he is presently at no. 3 at top wicket takers in Vijay Hazare Trophy and is the most economical bowler in that list.

  • AB on March 1, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    hope the selectors are keeping an eye on Abu Nechim -he's got pace but he has got to improve his length and become a thinking bowler. He should definitely be in the India A team -there are hardly a handful of bowlers who bowl consistently in the 140s in India -Yadav, Aaron & Nechim are in that coveted list

  • anagh on March 1, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Abu Nechim should definitely be given a chance in the Indian limited overs teams. The guy bowls at decent pace and is still young. If he is not given an opportunity after these performances he may lose inspiration to play for the national team and concentrate only on IPL. But given the way Indian cricket functions, even an worthless guy from TN or Mumbai will get preference to a genuine talent from Assam.

  • No featured comments at the moment.