Dehradun, Dec2: All-round Bengal U-23 lift Men's U23 One Day Trophy by thrashing Gujarat by 64 runs to conclude their superb run in the tournament here on Sunday. Bengal team has so far been unstoppable in the tournament as both the batters and bowlers have performed really well.
Sudip Gharami became the highest scorer in the tournament with 534 runs while top two wicket takers in the tournament are from Bengal also with Pradipta Pramanik bagging 24 and Sandipan Das grabbing 21 wickets. Bengal head coach Sourashis Lahiri said after becoming Men's U23 One Day Champion, "Gujarat lost to the spirit of Bengal. From Gujarat being 100-plus for no loss to 193 all out, boys gave their everything on the field. The way they fielded today was commendable. Boys dominated with the ball and batted well too." "I am over the moon right now. For me the credit goes to the whole team who played excellent team game," he added. Put to bat first openers helped Bengal get off to a strong start till Ankur Paul went back on 25 to reduce Bengal to 70/1. Gharami (51) also went back quickly after that after smashing another half-century in the tournament. Ranjot Kharia and Kazi Junaid Saifi stiched a 88-run partnership to set Bengal on course of a fighting total.
Bengal skipper Kazi Junaid Kaifi missed out on a deserving half-century when Kathan Patel caught him off Gardharia on 45 and Ranjot scored 52. The Bengal U-23 skipper said, "It's a great feeling to win the trophy for Bengal. Everyone in the team played well and we all wanted to win this trophy. When they were batting well at the first I told the boys to try and stop as much runs as possible and to not worry about anything else cause one or two wickets can change the game. That's what happened. I knew if we can get one wicket our potent bowling attack will make them panic."
Kathan was the highest wicket taker for Gujarat as he bagged 4 while Gardharia picked up 3 wickets. Akash Deep added crucial 30 runs in the end overs off just 16 balls to put up a fighting total of 257/8 in their quota of overs. While chasing Aniket Mishra and Pradipta Pramanik combined up to bag 3 wickets each while the pace attack made Gujarat batters uncomfortable on the wicket. Kathan (46) and Urvil Patel (76) gave Gujarat a strong start in the final with a 100-plus partnership till Ishan Porel broke the deadlock.
Cricket Association of Bengal Secretary Avishek Dalmiya said, "We are so proud at the performance of the U-23 Bengal side. They have been consistent over the last two seasons and have made us proud. This also augurs well for the future as it shows a healthy and competent supply line. A special mention for coach Saurasish Lahiri for putting in the hard work and for injecting killer instincts in the team."
"Once the team returns we will give them a formal reception. Each member of the team will get Rs 50,000 cash prize for their brilliant performance," he added. After Bengal lassoed opponent's batters with their lethal and commendable fielding to to take rest of the nine wickets in just 86 runs.
Porel bagged 2 wickets for 33 runs while Akash Deep and Sandipan bagged 1 wicket apiece. Brief Scores: Bengal 257/8 (Ranjot Singh Kharia 52, Sudip Kumar Gharami 51; Kathan D Patel 4/25, Y D Gardharia 3/55) beat Gujarat 193 all out (Urvil Patel 76, Kathan D Patel 46; A Mishra 3/43, Pradipta Pramanik 3/53) by 64 runs. (UNI)