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April 7, 2008
Bengal 250 for 6 (Shukla 65, Das 55, Kulkarni 3-45) beat Mumbai 249 for 9 (Muzumdar 71, Rahane 55, Saxedna 4-50) by four wickets
A solid team effort saw Bengal beat defending champions Mumbai by four wickets and enter the finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Visakhapatnam. Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Debabrata Das made rapid half-centuries as Bengal easily chased down the target of 250 with more than four overs to spare.
Mumbai's top order, led by the tournament's leading run-scorer Ajinkya Rahane's 55, provided a superb platform, reaching 94 for 1 by the 19th over. However, Bengal took three wickets - including that of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai's match-winner in the quarter-final - in quick succession, to leave them at a dicey 119 for 4.
Captain Amol Muzumdar then anchored the innings with a measured 71, supported by Abhishek Nayar. The partnership swelled to 68 when offspinner Saurasish Lahiri dismissed Nayar, after which Mumbai were unable to accelerate - only 63 runs coming off the last 105 balls. Left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena was the pick of the bowlers, ending with 4 for 50 in his ten overs.
Despite opener Shreevats Goswami's 48 and No. 4 Manoj Tiwary's efforts, Bengal were in trouble at 110 for 4. But Shukla (65) and Das (55*) added 94 at more than a run-a-ball set Bengal on course for a spot in the final. They now take on the winner of Tuesday's match between Saurashtra and Vidarbha on April 10.
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