Jhakkhand, Odisha book Super League berths from East Zone

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Cuttack: Jharkand defeated Assam comfortably by eight wickets in a 11-over-a-side East Zone game to progress to the Super League stages of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Barabati Stadium here today.

After being put into bat, Assam made 100 from 11 overs riding mainly on Rishav Das’ 29-ball 50 which was studded with eight fours and one six.

For Jharkand, left-arm spinners Shabaz Nadeem and Sarfaraz Ashraf picked up two wickets each.

Jharkand, however, did not have the best of starts as they lost opener Virat Singh (2) early, dismissed by Swarupam Purkayastha in the third ball of their innings.

However, Ishan Kisan, who made a 12-ball 28 with the help of two fours and three sixes, Ishank Jaggi (43 not out) and Saurabh Tiwary (26 not out) delivered for their side to romp home with five balls to spare.

Jaggi and Tiwary put on an unbeaten 64-run stand for the third wicket to guide Jharkand.

Meanwhile in the other East Zone match of the day, despite losing by a narrow one win to Bengal, hosts Odisha managed to join Jharkhand in the Super League stage of the tournament.

Bengal rode on skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s unbeaten 35-ball 47 to set up a thrilling one-run consolation win.

Bengal failed to make the knockouts since Jharkhand moved above them with their win over Assam. Odisha were already through.

Having chosen to bat, Bengal made a strong total of 168 for six, thanks to Wriddhiman Saha’s 15-ball 33 at the top of the order, Shukla’s fireworks, and good hands from Manoj Tiwary (21) and Sudip Chatterjee (27).

Chasing the terget, Govinda Podder’s 28-ball 36 kept Odisha in the hunt, but they were well behind the asking rate when he was dismissed in the 16th over, and needed 63 to win off tghe last five overs with five wickets in hand.

Abhilash Mallick (16 off 12), Deepak Behera (21 off 10) and Suryakant Pradhan (24 off 9) kept their hopes alive, but they fell agonisingly short.

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