Bengal 329 for 4 (Goswami 101, Easwaran 101, Tiwary 75*) beat Jharkhand 288 (Dhoni 70, Jaggi 59, Ojha 5-71) by 41 runs
File photo – Pragyan Ojha’s third five-wicket haul in List A cricket put Bengal into their first final since 2012 © PTI
Bengal openers Shreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran struck centuries to help them post 329 for 4, before Pragyan Ojha took five of Jharkhand’s last six wickets – including that of MS Dhoni – to bowl them out for 288 to win by 41 runs at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla. They will play Tamil Nadu in the final on Monday.
Goswami and Easwaran added 198 for the first wicket after Dhoni elected to field. Goswami, who was named Player of the Match, was the more aggressive of the two, hitting 11 fours and a six in his 99-ball 101 before he fell to medium-pacer Monu Kumar in the 35th over. Easwaran also made 101, his second century of the tournament, and like 127 against Mumbai, this innings too consisted of more running than it did boundaries.
After his dismissal in the 40th over, Bengal scored 100 runs off 62 balls, fueled by their captain Manoj Tiwary. His unbeaten 75 off 49 balls, took Bengal past 320 while Varun Aaron took the most wickets for Jharkhand, but was also their most expensive bowler, going for 89 runs.
Jharkhand started slowly, but their partnerships progressively increased till the fifth wicket fell. The two most substantial of those were 54 for the fourth wicket between Dhoni and Saurabh Tiwary (48) and 97 for the fifth between Dhoni and Ishank Jaggi. But their chase fizzled out when Dhoni fell to Ojha for for a 62-ball 70 at the end of the 43rd over. Jaggi (59) was dismissed by Sayan Ghosh (2-52) shortly after and the last four batsmen fell to Ojha in a collapse that eventually read 6 for 38.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo