Bengal, Jharkhand progress after wins
Bengal qualified for the second round of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a nine-run win over Odisha in a low-scoring game at Eden Gardens.
Opting to bat, Bengal managed a score of 121 for 7, propped up by knocks from opener Vivek Singh (38), Manoj Tiwary (22) and Arnab Nandi (29), even as the rest of the line-up struggled to get past a score of 10.
Odisha, needing a win to boost their chances of progression, unfortunately followed Bengal's template as only three batsmen got into double-digit scores. The Bengal bowlers, particularly medium-pacer Sanjib Sanyal and Nandi were the most effective, taking two wickets each while conceding few runs. For Odisha, the best innings came from Govinda Podder, who top-scored with 39 in an innings of 112 for 9.
Jharkhand rode on knocks from opener Ishan Kishan and captain Saurabh Tiwary to become the second team from the East Zone to qualify for the next round, with an eight-wicket win over Assam in Kolkata.
Kishan struck 48 off 35 balls with six fours, helping his side overcome the early loss of opener Ishank Jaggi in a chase of 128. Saurabh Tiwary then got into the act, slamming an unbeaten 36 off 21 balls while adding 55 runs with Virat Singh to see the side home with 22 balls to spare.
Earlier, Assam's batsmen got off to starts but failed to bat long enough to play a substantial innings as they closed at 127 for 8. Left-arm spinner Sarfaraz Ashraf, who picked up a five-for in his last game, had another impressive outing with returns of 3 for 22.