Vijay Hazare Trophy: Kaif and Majumdar shine in Bengal opening win

Young Kaif Ahmed and captain Anustup Majumdar scored excellent half centuries as Bengal topped Services by 70 points in their Group E opener of the one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament at Eden Gardens Sunday.

Batted, Bengal scored 315 for six on a batsman friendly track. In response, Services managed 245 for nine.

Forerunners Shreevats Goswami (28, 55b, 4×4) and Vivek Singh (39, 47b, 6×4) gathered 71 runs to give the host a strong start.

Majumdar (58, 61b, 6×4, 1×6), who played some delectable shots to the side, and Abhimanyu Easwaran (39, 49b, 3×4), who returned after warming up the bench in the Mushtaq Ali trophy, turned the keystroke to collect 92 runs.

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After Majumdar’s sacking, Varun Choudhary lbw in 34th place, Kaif (75, 53g, 11×4, 2×6) showed off his fine range of shots on both sides to secure his second half-century List-A. He collected 41, 42 and 42 races with Abhimanyu, Shahbaz Ahmed (25) and Writtick Chatterjee (20 no) respectively.

Bengal took a decisive advantage plundering 68 points in the last five overs.

Services, chasing a formidable target, lost wickets at regular intervals to struggle 122 for five after 27 overs.

However, captain Rajat Paliwal played a great shot (90, 102b, 6×4) and added 77 points with Pulkit Narang (53, 58b, 5×4) to reduce the defeat margin.

The Bengal bowlers executed their plans well. Four of them – Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep and Shahbaz – claimed two wickets each.

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