Kolkata: Wriddhiman Saha showed his prowess with the willow as his unbeaten 69-ball-84 was key to Bengal's crushing 163-run win in the east zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, here on Tuesday.
With two comprehensive wins from two games, Bengal are all but through to the knock-out rounds. Batting first at the JU (Salt Lake ground), Bengal scored 310 for three in 50 overs as Wriddhiman along with Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla added 85 runs in the last five overs. In reply, Jharkand were bowled out for 147 in 31 overs with Ashoke Dinda taking five for 29 in seven overs.
Shukla, batting in his customary fashion, punished the bowlers as his 41-ball-71 had six huge sixes apart from three boundaries. In fact, the skipper hit leg-spinner Samar Quadri for three successive sixes in the final over of the innings.
The Shukla-Wriddhiman combination added 141 runs in 14.1 overs. Wriddhiman, who is all set to play the first Test against Australia at Brisbane next month, hit 12 boundaries and a six as he found the gaps with consummate ease.
Earlier, veteran opener Arindam Das (74) added 83 runs for the opening stand with Shreevats Goswami (24). Manoj Tiwary (43), looked set for a big score before he was trapped leg-before by an incoming delivery from Rahul Shukla.
While chasing a stiff score, Jharkhand were never in the match as Dinda's fiery three-wicket burst reduced them to 35 for five in nine overs. Saurabh Tiwary (45) and Shahbaz Nadeem (34) delayed the inevitable with a 71-run stand for the sixth wicket before Bengal bowlers led by Dinda polished off the lower order with remarkable precision.
Brief Scores: Bengal 310/3 (Wriddhiman Saha 84 no, Laxman Ratan Shukla 71 no, Arindam Das 74)
Jharkhand 147 in 31 overs (Ashoke Dinda 5/29).
Bengal won by 163 runs. Points: Bengal 4; Jharkhand 0.