Bengal T20 Challenge: Five-star Ananta Saha puts Town Club on top

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Kolkata: Tournament’s first five-wicket haul including a hat-trick from Ananta Saha helped Town Club solidify their position at the top of the table in the Bengal T20 Challenge brushing aside Mohun Bagan in a one-sided affair at Eden Gardens on Tuesday (December 1).

Bagan won the toss and elected to field. Town posted a challenging 161 for 6 and then bowled out  Bagan for 138 to win by 23 runs. The showstopper on the match was Ananta. He not only picked up the tournament’s first five-wicket but also registered the meet’s first hat-trick.

 
 
 
 
 
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Saha began brilliantly removing the dangerous Vivek Singh for a duck with one that swung away after pitching. When he came back for his second spell he continued to probe the corridor of uncertainty keeping the ball just outside the off stick. His efforts soon yielded results.

He removed Debabrata Das and Prince Yadav with the last two balls of his third over. He returned for his last over and took Akash Deep’s wicket off the first delivery to complete his hat-trick. But he had not finished there as he cleaned up the tail removing Anurag Tiwari off the third ball of that very over to return with figures of 5 for 17 and give his team an easy victory.

“I just bowled to my strengths and kept it simple. I knew if you bowl at the right places the batsman will make errors and that is what happened. I am really happy that Town won the game and we are firmly on top,” Ananta said after the match.

Earlier, batting first Town came out with intent and purpose-made evident by Kazi Saifi and skipper Abhijit Singh who put on a 74 run partnership of just 57 balls for the fourth wicket to set up a big total.

Avijit Singh’s 37 came off just 33 balls with four hits to the fence and one over it. After his departure, Kazi continued to flourish hitting a 56 ball 70 with nine boundaries. But it was a cameo from Md Kaif that propelled Town’s total beyond the 160-mark. His 8-ball 26 consisted of three boundaries and two sixes.

 
 
 
 
 
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Mohun Bagan failed to impress and the brief resistance shown by Sunil Dalal (27) and skipper Anustup Majumdar (21) were not enough. Town now are firmly at the top with 20 points while Bagan languish fourth with 8 points.

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