Shahbaz Ahmed scored a century in a losing cause for Bengal.© BCCI/IPL

India all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed shone with the bat, but Bengal went down against Haryana in the quarterfinals of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. Ahmed, who was recently traded by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to SunRisers Hyderabad ahead of the Indian Premier League auction, fought a lone battle for his team, smashing a century to lift his team to a competitive total. Bengal managed 225 all out in 50 overs, largely due to Shahbaz Ahmed’s stellar hundred that had four sixes and as many boundaries.

Shahbaz played four seasons for RCB in the IPL, but was traded to SRH ahead of the IPL 2024, with Mayank Dagar going the other way.

Such was Bengal’s plight that next best score was 24 by keeper-opener Abhishek Porel. Had it not been for the 52 runs added between Shahbaz and Pradipta Pramanik (21) for seventh wicket and another 33 for the ninth wicket with Suman Das (7) Bengal would have struggled to go past the 200-run mark.

Yuzvendra Chahal was literally unplayable and most of the Bengal batters failed to read his wrong ‘uns.

In reply, Haryana were 14 for 2 within the first five overs but Ankit Kumar (102 off 102 balls) and Ashok Menaria (39) added 126 for the third wicket to put the chase back on track.

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It was Gujarat Titans’ Rahul Tewatia (21), who calmly got the team past target in just 45.1 overs.

Brief scores: Bengal: 225 all out in 50 overs (Shahbaz Ahmed 100; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/37, Rahul Tewatia 2/32) lost to Haryana: 226 for 6 in 45.1 overs (Ankit Kumar 102, Ashok Menaria 39, Mohammad Kaif 2/44, Pradipta Pramanik 2/29) by 4 wickets.

(With PTI Inputs)

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