Dharamsala: Delhi got a fresh lease of life as they qualified for the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinals after Manoj Tiwary's unbeaten 104 helped Bengal beat Himachal Pradesh (HP) by six wickets in a Group B encounter here on Saturday.
Maharashtra are the second team from the group to have qualified for the knockout stages. Delhi had finished their group league engagements with 16 points from six matches with successive defeats in their final two encounters.
There were three teams - HP, Maharashtra and Kerala - locked on 14 points from five games. Maharashtra versus Kerala match was a virtual pre-quarterfinal while HP needed a win against Bengal to qualify.
Delhi would be grateful to Tiwary and Abhimanyu Easwaran (90) for chasing down a target of 267 with minimum fuss in 48 overs. Easwaran (10 fours, 109 balls) and Tiwary (10 fours, 2 sixes, 107 balls) added 131 runs for the third wicket to ensure a smooth passage for Ishant Sharma's team.
In another clash at Bilaspur, Maharashtra crushed Kerala by 98 runs to make it to the last-eight phase, which starts in Delhi from February 21.
Batting first, Maharashtra scored 273 in 37 overs with Naushad Sheikh smashing 76. In reply, Kerala were all out for 175 with Sanju Samson scoring 46. Pacer Shrikant Mundhe grabbed 5/26.
1. Himachal Pradesh 266/8 (Priyanshu Khanduri 74, Alok Pratap Singh 4/53) lost to Bengal 266/4 in 48 overs (Manoj Tiwary 104*, Abhimanyu Easwaran 90) by 6 wickets.
2. Maharashtra 273/8 in 37 overs (Naushad Sheikh 76, Ankit Bawne 43) beat Kerala 175 in 29.2 overs (Sanju Samson 46) by 98 runs
3. Uttar Pradesh 357/8 in 50 overs (Akshdeep Nath 87, Aryan Juyal 69, Rinku Singh 91) beat Tripura 296/9 in 50 overs (Yashpal Singh 110, J Banik 50) by 61 runs