N. Jagadeesan marked his fourth half-century in a row to help Tamil Nadu beat Bengal by eight wickets in an elite Group B match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 cricket tournament at Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.
Bengal scored 163 for eight. Tamil Nadu hit the goal with 18 assists to claim their fifth straight victory and reach the quarter-finals.
Bengal, inserted in, was losing wickets at regular intervals. Baba Aparajith used his faster deliveries to the bowl Vivek Singh (7) and Shreevats Goswami (21, 17g, 2×4, 1×6).
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Meanwhile, Suvankar Bal (14) perished while trying to dominate R.Sai Kishore.
Shahbaz Ahmed was exhausted and Manoj Tiwary was puzzled as Bengal was 87 out of five.
However, Kaif Ahmed (63 no, 47b, 5×4, 2×6) restarted the heats bringing together 56 races with his captain Anustup Majumdar (34, 22b, 4×4).
A fearless Kaif played explosive punches on his fifty-year-old daughter. Majumdar positioned the ball well to get to his limit. They also worked well between the counters.
After Majumdar fell, Kaif scored sharply and shot Mr Mohammed for a powerful six to close the innings.
Despite the dew factor, the Bengal bowlers kept it tight. Tamil Nadu collected 38 for the loss of C. Hari Nishaanth (14), who was judged lbw off Arnab Nandi, in the Powerplay.
KB Arun Karthick (30, 20g, 3×4, 1×6) added 40 points with N. Jagadeesan before being caught behind Mukesh Kumar.
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Jagadeesan (71 no, 45b, 6×4, 4×4), who started off quiet and got a ‘life’ in 15, and skipper Dinesh Karthik (47 no, 31b, 7×4) worked the ball to spin the shot .
They accelerated in the 12 with Jagadeesan producing two six-pull off Nandi.
Karthik, who put most of his fours on the line, also helped lower the required rate as the duo carved out an undefeated 110-point stand.
Jagadeesan hit their fifty deserves while Tamil Nadu finished their group engagements going undefeated.
The scores: Bengal 163/8 (Kaif Ahmed 63 no, Anustup Majumdar 34) lost to Tamil Nadu 167/2 in 18 overs (N. Jagadeesan 71 no, Dinesh Karthik 47 no, KB Arun Karthick 30)