Abhimanyu, Prayas Star In Bengal’s Record Win

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Cuttack: Youngster Abhimanyu Easwaran cracked his maiden Twenty20 century to continue his sublime form as former champions Bengal secured a record 159-run win over Mizoram in their opening Group D fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here Thursday.

The 23-year-old smashed five sixes and eight fours en route to his 56-ball 107 as Bengal piled 221/4 after being put in by Mizoram at the Barabati Stadium. Abhimanyu’s effort was brilliantly complemented by Royal Challengers Bangalore-recruit Prayas Ray Barman as the debutant leg-spinner claimed 4/14 in his Twenty20 debut while Pradipta Pramanik bagged 3/13 as Mizoram folded for 62 in 13 overs to hand Bengal the biggest margin win of the tournament.

Karnataka held the earlier record — a 123-run victory over Jharkhand in Kolkata in 2018. Abhimanyu, who had amassed 861 runs from six first class matches at an average of 95.66, took charge of the proceedings after Vivek Singh (28) departed in the third over. Abhimanyu found an able ally in Shreevats Goswami who struck a quickfire 55 from 33 balls (6×4, 1×6) in their 119 runs stand from 64 balls.

While the win came easy for Bengal, Wriddhiman Saha made just two runs in his comeback match after recovering from a career-threatening shoulder injury that had kept him out for about nine months.