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       SPORTS Next Article: Maharaj sets 'impossible' win for South Africa  
       Dhoni wins hearts but Bengal win Hazare semi-final
 
         Posted on :21:29:49 Mar 18, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:21:29:49 Mar 18, 2017
         Tags: Dhoni, Bengal, Hazare semi-final
 
NEW DELHI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni enthralled one and all with some breathtaking sixes but a young Bengal side put up a spirited display to beat Jharkhand by 41 runs and enter the Vijay Hazare final here today.
 
They will meet Tamil Nadu in the final. Bengal had lost to Dinesh Karthik and Co. in the two successive finals in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
 
Riding on twin hundreds by Abhimanyu Easwaran (101) and Shreevats Goswami (101) and a blistering 75 from skipper Manoj Tiwary, Bengal scored an imposing 329 for four in 50 overs.
 
But one of the greatest finishers of the game, Dhoni took the battle back to the enemy camp, hitting 70 off 62 balls, before they were bundled out for 288 in 50 overs.
 
The four sixes were vintage Dhoni and the 2000-odd spectators who had come to watch him in action were not disappointed. They were ecstatic when Ashoke Dinda dropped a sitter at long-off that trickled down to the boundary.
 
The hapless off-spinner Amir Gani watched in disbelief as Dhoni then hit him for two sixes over long-on -- the second one went 100 metres.
 
The pressure of scoreboard was telling but that didn't deter Dhoni from sending a Pragyan Ojha delivery into the second tier at the Ambedkar Stadium end.
 
He found an able ally in Ishank Jaggi (59 off 43 balls) who also played his shots at will, even as Bengal's ground fielding was exceptional led by centurion Easwaran.
 
Ojha (5/71) has lost some zip after a remodelled action and kept on bowling short and was repeatedly punished by Dhoni and Jaggi.
 
However Ojha bowled the most important delivery of his entire stint with Bengal as he got one to turn away from Dhoni clipping off bail. The match was won and lost with that single delivery from Ojha.
 
Jaggi was leg before in the next over from Sayan Ghosh and then the match was over with Ojha wrapping up the tail.
 
Earlier, skipper Tiwary sent Jharkhand pacers Varun Aaron (1/89 in 10 overs) and Rahul Shukla (0/75 in 10 overs) on a leatherhunt during the final 10 overs as Bengal piled up runs.
 
Tiwary's 49-ball innings had seven fours and two sixes after Easwaran and Shreevats scored identical 101 each, adding 198 runs together for the opening wicket.
 
While Easwaran anchored the innings with seven boundaries and a hooked six in 117 balls, Goswami had 11 fours and a six in 99 deliveries.
 
Goswami was more flamboyant while Easwaran was compact, which even drew applause from chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.
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       SPORTS
Next Article: Maharaj sets 'impossible' win for South Africa
 
 
SPORTS HEADLINES
FIFA praises infrastructure at IG Stadium  
India finishes 248/6 on Day 2  
Debutant Kuldeep takes 4, Australia all-out for 300 on Day 1  
FIFA lauds Navi Mumbai venue, says this should be benchmark  
Kohli ruled out, Rahane becomes India's 33rd Test captain  
Hamilton on pole for Australian GP with record lap  
Manohar defers decision to step down as ICC chairman  
Waugh says pressure on India, urges Australia to retain XI  
Ajinkya is more chilled out than Virat: Smith  
Kohli skips batting at nets, no Shami for 4th Test  
Sad that focus has shifted from game: Pujara on Trump comment  
Virat Kohli is a great leader, says Gilchrist  
We are going through tough times: Pakistan's new captain  
Fear of series-defeat behind India's verbal attacks: Starc  
India to test waters against Cambodia  
It will turn around, I will score runs: Warner  
Jadeja grabs top spot in bowling, Pujara 2nd in batting list  
Afghan IPL debutant Rashid Khan wants to pick Yuvraj's brains  
India denied by Aussie grit, third Test ends in draw  
Kohli alleges disrespect to India physio; Smith rubbishes it  
Pujara double, Saha ton put India in complete command  
Dhoni wins hearts but Bengal win Hazare semi-final  
Maharaj sets 'impossible' win for South Africa  
India reach 120/1 after Smith takes Australia to 451  
Kohli is on a different planet, says Flintoff  
 
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