Mohammad Shami, Ashok Dinda steer Bengal to semis of Vijay Hazare Trophy
Kolkata: Defending a paltry 168, Shami (4/25) and Dinda (3/13) ripped apart Tamil Nadu top order with some charged up bowling to reduce the visitors to 25 for five in the 10th over and eventually bundle out Tamil Nadu for 90 in 33.5 overs. Dinda gave the Bengal their first breakthrough by seeing off S Anirudha, who edged to second slip.
Shami then joined the party with wickets of Baba Aparajith (12) and Subramaniam Badrinath (0) in successive overs. He took a spectacular running catch off his own bowling to dismiss Badrinath.
There was no respite for the star studded Tamil Nadu top order batsmen with the pace duo bowling in tandem for 13 overs. They also accounted for the prized wickets of Dinesh Karthik (5), Ravichandran Ashwin (0) and Vijay Shankar (6).
The duo bowled with sheer pace and swing. Shami's first spell read 6-0-13-3, while Dinda was more dreadful with figures of 7-3-12-2.
Presence of 3,000-odd boisterous crowd just added to the intensity as Bengal had it easy in the end.
Murali Vijay was the lone Tamil Nadu batsmen who batted with patience before Veer Pratap Singh ended his stay at the wicket for 24 off 85 balls after Sayan Sekhar Mondal took a fine catch at deep fine leg.
With wickets falling in at the other end, Vijay looked frustrated and went for a big heave to clear the ropes but only to lose his wicket.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu medium pacer Yo Mahesh grabbed four for 23 after rattling the top order in a first spell of 4-0-12-2 to trigger in a top order collapse. Bengal never had any partnership going with Saurashish Lahiri top scoring with 32 after skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (30), Manoj Tiwary (25) and Shreevats Goswami (22) failed to convert their starts.
For Tamil Nadu, Ravichandran Ashwin (2/38) and Rahil Shah (2/18) took two wickets apiece as Bengal were reduced to 139 for nine, but some lusty hitting by No 11 batsman Dinda, who struck a 19-ball 21 not out, pushed their total to 150-plus.
Brief scores: Bengal: 167 all out in 42.1 overs (Saurashish Lahiri 32, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 30; Yo Mahesh 4/23). Tamil Nadu: 90 all out in 33.5 overs (Murali Vijay 24; Mohammed Shami 4/25, Ashok Dinda 3/13).