Shahbaz Ahmed Stars as Bengal beat Tami Nadu; Odisha Stun Chandigarh

Shahbaz Ahmed put on a brilliant all-around performance to lead Bengal to a dominant 43-round win over Tamil Nadu in their elite Group E game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Sunday. The 27-year-old from Haryana led Bengal’s aggressive batting performance with an undefeated 27-ball 42 with three fours and two maximums to take the team to 164 for six after opting to bat. He then returned to scalp three crucial wickets with his left arm to completely derail Tamil Nadu’s Run Chase as they finished with 121 for 9 in their prescribed 20 overs.

Shahbaz’s pyrotechnics gave Bengal a sizzling finish after skippers Abhimanyu Easwaran (38), Sudip Gharami (27) and Ritwik Chowdhury (32) set them up with useful shots.

Washington Sundar (2/24) took two wickets while Sai Kishore (1/20), T Natarajan (1/26) and Varun Chakaravarthy (1/39) each took one.

Chasing 165 for a win, TN opener Sai Sudharsan blasted a 48-ball 64 with four boundaries and two sixes but received no assist from the other end.

Shahbaz was in the thick of things from the start as opener N Jagadeesan potted to him in Akash Deep’s second over and then the spinner put two shots into three balls to reduce TN to 50 for 3 in the ninth over.

He fired Baba Aparajith (16) and Sanjay Yadav (0) before getting rid of Washing Sundar (4) when TN’s drum kit broke apart afterwards.

Besides Shahbaz, the other wicket takers were Mukesh Kumar (2/33), Pradipta Pramanik (2/13), Writtick Chatterjee (1/19) and Akash Deep (1/28).

In another match, Odisha scored a one-wicket win over Chandigarh in a last-ball thriller, riding Rakesh Pattnaik’s unbeaten 61 from 24.

Sent to bat, Chandigarh scored 179 for 6, with Bhagmender Lather making 59 of 41 balls with seven maxima and Raj Bawa slamming 40 of 17 balls.

In response, Odisha was down 5-2 but recovered from the disastrous start, with Shantanu Mishra (39) and Subhranshu Senapati (47) playing big roles in keeping them on the hunt.

Pattnaik then smashed seven boundaries and four sixes to bring Odisha home on the last ball.

Jagjit Singh snatched four wickets for Chandigarh.


Brief Results: Bengal: 164 for 6 in 20 overs (Shahbaz Ahmed 42 not out; Washington Sundar 2/24). TN: 121 for 9 in 20 overs (Sai ​​Sudharsan 64; Shahbaz Ahmed 3/13). Bengal won by 43 runs. Score: Bengal 4, TN 0.

Chandigarh: 179 for 6 in 20 overs (Bhagmender Lather 59; Tarani Sa 2/25, A Raut 2/29). Odisha: 181 for 9 in 20 overs (Rakesh Pattnaik 61, Subhranshu Senapati 47; Jagjit Singh 4/29). Odisha won by one wicket. Points: Odisha 4, Chandigarh 0.

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