Indore: After a convincing start against Railways in the opener, a lacklustre Bengal suffered a seven-wicket defeat against Maharashtra in the second Super League Group A game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Indore Friday.
The duel here saw Maharashtra opting to bowl first after winning the toss and restrict Bengal to 138 for seven from their 20 overs. Bengal were 25 for five at one stage but Shahbaz Ahmed with 60 off 44 balls and skipper Manoj Tiwary’s 41 (44 balls) ensured a 130 plus total.
In reply, Maharashtra scored the runs in only 17.3 overs. Rahul Tripathi scored 60 off 46 balls with nine boundaries. At the start of the Bengal innings, Maharashtra bowlers removed the opponent’s top-order within powerplay overs. Left-arm pacer Samad Fallah started off the proceedings dismissing veteran Wridhdhiman Saha (0) in the very first over when he was beaten by movement.
Shreevats Goswami, who played a fantastic knock against Railways, looked a mere shadow of himself scoring just 1 and was bowled by Maharashtra’s best bowler Dominic Muthuswamy, who took 3 for 15.
It was a disappointing day for Bengal cricket’s most reliable batsman, Abhimanyu Easwaran (0), whose defence was also breached by Dominic during early part of the innings when some assistance was there on offer for seamers.
Bengal then lost Birender Vivek Singh and Ritwik Roy Chowdhury in quick succession. At 25 for five, captain Tiwary and youngster Shabaz steadied the ship for Bengal with a 55-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Tiwary hit three boundaries and two sixes before being bowled by left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav. After Tiwary’s dismissal, Shahbaz attacked as he hit five fours and two sixes.
Maharashtra also started on a wobbly note losing their opener Rituraj Gaikward (20) in the third over. But other than the minor setback, Maharashtra had little problem in chasing down the total.
Tripathy played a captain’s knock guiding his team to a formidable seven-wicket victory with partnerships of 59 and 52 with Rohit Motwani (36) and Nikhil Naik (18).
Bengal 138 for 7 in 20 overs (Shabaz Ahmed 60 not out, Manoj Tiwary 41; Domnic Muthuswami 3/15). Maharashtra: 139 for 3 in 17.3 overs (Rahul Tripathi 60 not out).