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Karnataka, Punjab make it to finals

Abhimanyu Mithun took two wickets on the first day ESPNcricinfo Ltd

A late Bengal collapse triggered by Abhimanyu Mithun helped defending champions Karnataka to the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. With five wickets in hand and only 13 runs needed off 14 deliveries, Bengal were set to make it to the final when Mithun dismissed a well-set Subhajit Banerjee. The wicket broke the 41-run stand between Banerjee and Saurasish Lahiri (24 off 15) that had taken only 22 balls and had tilted the scales in favour of Bengal.

Two more wickets went down in the 49th over bowled by Vinay Kumar to turn the equation for Bengal to a tricky nine off six balls with two wickets remaining. But Mithun ensured Karnataka closed the doors on Bengal by picking up both the wickets and ensuring a six-run win.

Bengal had controlled most parts of the game. They won the toss, sent Karnataka in and restricted the strong batting line-up. Robin Uthappa (36), Manish Pandey (32), Stuart Binny (50) and Karun Nair (41), all got starts to their innings but were all dismissed before they could do deeper damage. Ashok Dinda picked up two wickets, Veer Pratap Singh picked three and Iresh Saxena was miserly in his 10-over spell. However, Vinay led a late riposte and added an unbeaten 46 with Mithun, the No. 11 to transform a below-par total into a challenging one.

Bengal were undeterred. Their top order responded strongly - with fifties for Manoj Tiwary and in-form Sudip Chaterjee - as they reached 175 for 2 in the 39th over. But the tide starting turning with the fall of Tiwary to a run-out and finally consumed Bengal as they lost their last five wickets for six runs.

Patient fifties from Amitoze Singh and Mandeep Singh helped Punjab cruise into the final with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Odisha in Ahmedabad. Chasing 239, Punjab crossed the target with a six in the 49th over which took the unbeaten partnership between Yuvraj Singh and Taruwar Kohli to 64.

Put in to bat, Odisha were led by fifties from Natraj Behera and Arabind Singh. Natraj (61) put on 61 for the second wicket with Anurag Sarangi, which was followed by Arabind's 100-ball 89. Odisha were 128 for 4 after 35 overs but Arabind first took them past 200 and with Abhilash Mallick's 26-ball 36, later lifted them to 238 as they scored 110 runs in the last 15 overs.

Punjab's only stutter was the early loss of Manan Vohra in the third over before Amitoze and Mandeep got together for their dominating stand of 167 in 34.1 overs. Even though both batsmen fell in successive overs, Yuvraj (26*) and Taruwar (35*) steered them past 238 with nine balls to spare. Mandeep fell for 81 off 93, after hitting seven fours and a six, and Amitoze was run-out for 91, which featured eight fours and a six.

Punjab and Karnataka will play the final on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

Bengal 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st52Arindam DasSP Goswami
2nd37MK TiwarySP Goswami
3rd86MK TiwarySD Chatterjee
4th19LR ShuklaSD Chatterjee
5th21SD ChatterjeeSS Banerjee
6th41SS LahiriSS Banerjee
7th3SS LahiriSS Mondal
8th1SS LahiriV Pratap Singh
9th1SS LahiriAB Dinda
10th1SS LahiriI Saxena

Vijay Hazare Trophy

Elite, Group A
TEAMMWLPTNRR
MUM860281.634
MAHA861261.003
BRODA842201.141
PNJB842200.354
HP83414-0.138
VIDAR83414-0.819
KNTKA82412-0.175
GOA8158-0.935
RLYS8072-1.719
Elite, Group B
TEAMMWLPTNRR
DELHI861261.258
AP861260.1
HYD852220.539
KER84318-0.165
CGARH844160.278
SAU83512-0.475
ODSH82510-0.181
UP8158-0.378
MP8166-0.984
Elite, Group C
TEAMMWLPTNRR
JKAND970321.347
HRYNA961281.661
SVCS953220.597
GUJ953220.534
TN954200.767
BENG94418-0.115
J + K93612-0.855
TPURA92610-0.58
RAJ9278-0.971
ASSAM9168-2.005
Plate Group
TEAMMWLPTNRR
Bihar870302.724
UKHND871281.82
PONDI851241.727
NAGA853200.909
MEGHA844160.791
MNPR82510-0.197
ARPR82510-1.928
MIZOR8166-2.467
SIKM8080-3.182