Chandigarh stun Bengal, climb to high

Kolkata, February 23

Chandigarh continued their giant-killing run in their Elite debut, stunning hosts Bengal by five wickets in a Vijay Hazare Group E clash here today.

Fresh from their win over neighbours Haryana, Chandigarh chased down Bengal’s 253/9 with seven balls to spare to climb to the top of the group table, ahead of Saurashra on net-run rate.

Saurashtra secured a thrilling one-wicket win over star-studded Haryana. Bengal dropped to third spot with one win and a loss.

Sent in, Bengal found themselves caught in a spin web of Chandigarh’s trio of Gaurav Gambhir (2/45), Bipul Sharma (2/50) and Gurinder Singh (2/47) as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals to be restricted to 253/9.

Chandigarh, playing their second domestic season, responded with a commanding opening partnership of 126 runs by Arslan Khan (88 off 95) and skipper Manan Vohra (45 off 68) before in-form Shivam Bhambri took charge with a composed 71 not out.

With Chandigarh going strong in their chase, Bengal made some inroads in the death overs by picking up three wickets for one run to see the visitors 230/5, needing 24 runs from 22 balls.

But Bhambri, who was in scintillating form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with three successive half-centuries, sealed the chase with his 74-ball knock.

Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir beat Services by three wickets. — PTI

Brief scores

Bengal 253/9 (Ahmed 59; Gambhir 2/45); Chandigarh 257/5 in 48.5 overs (Khan 88, Bhambri 71*, Vohra 45); Services 274/7 (Chauhan 118); Jammu & Kashmir 276/7 in 48 overs (Khajuria 84, Samad 63); Haryana 264 (Bishnoi 84; Sakariya 3/63); Saurashtra 265/9 in 49.1 overs (Patel 79)

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