4: Mahendra Singh Dhoniís woeful run of form continued today as he managed just 12 against Bengal in a Twenty20 encounter at Eden Gardens.
Chasing a mammoth 188-run target, Jharakhand had pinned their hopes on the India hard hitter. Dhoni had started well, playing an exquisite cover drive of Priyankar Mukherjee off the very first ball he faced. But, a clever bowling change sealed the match for Bengal.
Skipper Manoj Tiwari sent back Dhoni and Saurabh in quick successions, tilting the balance in Bengalís favour. Dhoni tried an extravagant hoick over mid on against the spin and paid the penalty as Shib Shankar Paul did well to latch on to a difficult chance at short thirdman.
Thereafter, Bengal picked up wickets at regular intervals. The Jharkhand innings ended 12 short of the Bengal total. Skipper Tiwari led Bengal from the front and staked a strong claim for a berth in the Bangladesh-bound Indian team, scoring a quickfire 58 from 31 balls. He was ably supported by another youngster, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala. The duo shared an invaluable 68-run fourth-wicket partnership.
Earlier in the day, Tripura, coached by former India allrounder Karsan Ghavri, sprang a surprise defeating East Zone powerhouse Assam by seven wickets. Assam were skittled out for a paltry 82 in 15.4 overs. Manoj Singh was the wrecker-in-chief for Tripura, picking up two wickets for 19 runs in his four overs.