Kalyani (West Bengal): Pint-sized opener Shreevats Goswami and new ball bowler Veer Pratap Singh produced impressive performances as Bengal comfortably beat Odisha by 25 runs to kick-start their campaign in the East Zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Former India U-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Goswami anchored the Bengal innings as his unbeaten 110 took Bengal to a respectable 220 for six after being put into bat at the newly constructed Bengal Cricket Academy ground, here today.
In reply, Odisha were all-out for 195 in 46.4 overs with Veer Pratap grabbing 5/23 in 8.4 overs ably supported by senior pacer Ashoke Dinda (2/41) and all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla (2/33).
On a seamer-friendly wicket, left-handed Goswami, who is barely five feet tall batted responsibly as he played 145 balls hitting 10 fours on the off-side. Left-handed Subhajit Banerjee making his List A debut made 33 and shared a 73-run stand for the fourth wicket after Arindam Das (0), Sudeep Chatterjee (13) and Manoj Tiwary (16) were dismissed.
Once Banerjee was dismissed, skipper Shukla (0) and Sayan Sekhar Mondal (9) also went in quick succession as Bengal were reduced to 145 for six by 42nd over. However another 65 runs were added by Goswami along with veteran all-rounder Saurashish Lahiri (27, 22 balls) as hosts crossed 200-run mark.
Odisha were cruising along at one stage with scoreboard reading 86 for two before they lost three quick wickets to be reduced at 88 for five. Nataraj Behera (77) fought a lonely battle but the Bengal seam trio of Veer, Dinda and Shukla didn't give the opposition chance to comeback.
Bengal 220/6 (Shreevats Goswami 110 no, Subhajit Banerjee 33, Basant Mohanty 3/46).
Odisha 195 all out in 46.4 overs (Nataraj Behera 77, Veer Pratap Singh 5/23, LR Shukla 2/33, Ashoke Dinda 2/41). Bengal won by 25 runs. Points: Bengal 4; Odisha 0.
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