Kolkata, Jan 5:
Shreevats Goswami powered Bengal to a five-wicket win over Jharkhand and emerge zonal toppers with an all-win record, while Assam defeated Odisha by six wickets to finish runners-up in the East Zone Twenty20 League for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at th Eden Gardens, here today.
Continuing his fine run, the Bengal opener struck nine boundaries and two sixes en route to a 53-ball 81 to lay the foundation for their 178-run chase with five balls to spare as Bengal won four wins from as many matches.
In the afternoon match, all-rounder Amit Verma (3/19 and 31 from 25 balls; 2x4s, 1×6) and oepner Pallavkumar Das (51) steered Assam to a six-wicket win over Odisha with nine balls to spare as they finished the zonal league with three wins.
Odisha finished with two victories, while Tripura registered a solitary win, as, according to the new format, a East Zone team would be picked for the main Inter-Zonal round.
Earlier, a depleted Jharkhand, playing without Ishank Jaggi, Ishan Kishan and Shahbaz Nadeem who were representing India A in the warm-up game against Bangladesh, put up a challenging 177 for six after they were sent in to bat.
Opener Virat Singh (42 from 29 balls; 9x4s) set the tone before skipper Saurabh Tiwary slammed 44 off 31 balls with two boundaries and three sixes while Pratyush Singh made 39 from 28 balls (6x4s).
Sumit Kumar (18 from 13 balls; 3x6s) and Anand Singh (16 from six balls) hammered Pragyan Ojha who leaked 21 runs in the penultimate over but it proved insufficient as Goswami made the difference to hand Jharkhand their fourth defeat in a row.
In reply, Goswami took control of the chase after Wriddhiman Saha (5) missed the line and was cleaned up by Varun Aaron in the second over.
Skipper Manoj Tiwary (4) also looked out of sorts and was holed out at deep midwicket but Goswami, who scored an unbeaten 71 against Assam, looked at ease.
He shared two crucial partnerships — first 73 from 55 balls for the second wicket with Abhishek Raman (37 from 28 balls; 3x4s, 1×6) and then a quickfire 71 from 37 balls with Pramod Chandila.
Goswami, however, failed to remain unbeaten as he was caught by Pratyush Singh at cover while trying to cut Rahul Shukla uppishly.
But Chandila remained calm and steered bengal home with his 21-ball 37 not out (4x4s, 1×6).
Goswami totalled 202 from four matches with two half centuries and skipper Tiwary was all-praise for the lefthander.
“This tournament has been important for us. Some players have reinvented themselves, take for instance Shreevats. The way he played was really worth the praise. A lot of people had given up on him. But the team management backed him and he has shown his merit,” the Bengal captain said.
Jharkhand 177/6 in 20 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 44, Virat Singh 42, Pratyush Singh 39; Ashoke Dinda 2/28) lost to Bengal 178/5 in 19.1 overs (Shreevats Goswami 81, Abhishek Raman 37, Pramod Chandila 37 not out; Varun Aaron 2/41) by five wickets.
Odisha 143/7 in 20 overs (Biplab Samantaray 50; Amit Verma 3/19) lost to Assam 148/4 in 18.3 overs (Pallav Kumar Das 51, KB Arun Karthik 28 not out; Basant Mohanty 2/17) by six wickets. PTI