A file photo of Ashok Dinda. (AFP Photo)
Ranchi: East Zone heavyweights Bengal beat last year's runners-up Assam by 12 runs to make it to the quarter-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy where they will meet Tamil Nadu.
Put into bat, Bengal scored a massive 321 for six in 50 overs and then bowled out Assam for 309 in 49.3 overs, thereby qualifying for the main draw with 12 points.
Bengal will host Tamil Nadu at the Eden Gardens on March 11 in a day-night encounter.
Comeback man Manoj Tiwary led the charge for Bengal with a run-a-ball 90 that had five boundaries and four huge sixes. He was ably supported by pint-sized wicketkeeper batsman Shreevats Goswami (87, 87 balls, 10x4s) in a 144-run stand for the third wicket.
Manoj was especially severe on pacers as he punished Abu Nechim Ahmed (1 for 73) and Pritam Laru Das (0 for 62 in 10 overs) with some straight as well as pulled sixes.
Wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (78 no, 56 balls 1x4, 6x6s) blasted his way during a 72-run stand for the sixth wicket in only 7.1 overs with Sayan Sekhar Mondal (34, 22 balls, 3x4s, 2x6s).
For Assam, Shib Sankar Roy, who had played for India Blue in the last edition of NKP Salve Challenger Trophy scored 101 off 105 balls with eight fours and a six. Former India U-19 opener Parvez Aziz smashed a quickfire 67 off 50 balls with eight fours and four sixes.
India discard Ashoke Dinda (1 for 87 in 12 overs) was taken to cleaners by Aziz who hit him for a number of big sixes.
Veer Pratap Singh (3 for 65) was the pick of the Bengal bowlers while veteran offie Saurashish Lahiri got two wickets.
Brief scores: Bengal 321 for 6 (Manoj Tiwary 90, Shreevats Goswami 87, Wriddhiman saha 78 no) Assam 309 in 49.3 overs (Shib Sankar Roy 101, Parvez Aziz 67, Veer Pratap Singh 3 for 65). Bengal won by 12 runs.