Indore: Skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla led from the front with a punishing knock as Bengal beat Baroda by four runs in a Super League (group B) match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20, here on Tuesday. Put into bat at the Holkar Stadium, Bengal made a decent 149 for four as Shukla led the charge with a 23-ball-50 and then restricted Baroda to 145 for nine.
The all-rounder hit five hige sixes apart from a couple of boundaries. Pint-sized left-hander made a 52-ball-48 which had five boundaries. Leg-spinner Hardik Pandya and left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt bore the brunt of Shukla's powerful innings as he repeatedly cleared the boundary ropes with ease. Bengal's openers Goswami and Subhomoy Das (28) put on 67 runs in 10 overs but they were not able to score at a fast clip. Goswami in particular wasted a lot of deliveries.
In reply, India's ODI specialist Shami Ahmed (2/26) and young seamer Sayan Sekhar Mondal (3/19) kept tight leash on the Baroda batsmen as only Aditya Waghmode managed a decent score of 47 off 33 balls. None of the other batsmen got past 20 as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Once T20 specialist from Mumbai Indians Ambati Rayudu was dismissed by Mondal caught of KKR player Debabrata Das, Baroda didn't have the required firepower to chase the target. Shukla also made some good bowling changes.
Brief Scores: Bengal 149/4 (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 50, Shreevats Goswami 48); Baroda 145/9 (Aditya Waghmode 47, Sayan Sekhar Mondal 3/19, Shami Ahmed 2/26).