Odisha, Bengal fashion huge wins
East Zone group leaders Assam had a dismal match, losing by seven wickets to Bengal in Kolkata. Assam were dismissed for 93 after being asked to bat, with only four batsmen reaching a score in double figures.
Fast bowler Veer Pratap Singh's four-wicket effort was well supported by Shami Ahmed, the captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla and medium-pacer Sanjib Sanyal.
Bengal had a brief stutter in their chase when Wriddhiman Saha and Vivek Singh were dismissed off consecutive balls. However, Assam's bowlers simply did not have enough runs to defend. A fluent and unbeaten knock of 61 from Manoj Tiwary, which included eight fours and two sixes, hastened the finish, giving Bengal a comfortable win.
In the second East Zone match in Kolkata, Odisha scored a 235-run win against Jharkhand, courtesy centuries by Paresh Patel and Arabind Singh and a seven-wicket haul by Suryakant Pradhan. Jharkhand won the toss and picked up an early wicket in the fifth over. But they had to wait for 214 more runs for the next strike, that of debutant Arabind, who smashed a 112-ball 132. Biplab Samantray then scored a 13-ball 37 to help Odisha to a tall total of 353.
Left-arm seamer Pradhan triggered a Jharkhand collapse after picking up a wicket in his second over. He picked up a wicket in every over till his seventh as Jharkhand were left tottering on 43 for 8. Some late hitting by the ninth-wicket pair of Rahul Shukla (50 off 55 balls) and Jaskaran Singh delayed the inevitable and helped the team cross the 100-mark. They were eventually bowled out for 118 in the 29th over of the innings.