Batting first, Bangal were precariously placed at one place when they were 94 for 4 at the start of the 15th over. But then Chowdhary took the situation in his hand batted like a man possessed and blasted a breezy 57 off just 28 balls. He remained undefeated till the end and hit 4 sixes and 4 boundaries. But for him, Bengal would not have scored 159 for 5 in their stipulated 20 overs as they eventually did.
Earlier, captain Manoj Tewary had tried to lend some respectability to the Bengal innings by scoring 52 off 41 deliveries that was studded with 4 fours and 1 six. Abhishek Jhunjhunwala also played a brief but crucial knock of 20 in 20 balls, hitting 4 fours and 1 six.
For Tamil Nadu, V Yomahesh was the most successful bowler with figures of 4-0-21-2. Tamil Kumaran and R. Ashwin took 1 wicket each.
Tamil Nadu players were expected to give Bengal a good fight but they seemed to have accepted the defeat from the beginning itself as their wickets kept falling regularly with only M Vijay (34 runs off 21balls with 3 sixers), V Devendran (28 off 20 balls with 4 fours and 1 six) and skipper S Badrinath (22 off 23 balls with 3 fours) showing some fighting ability. Former India [ Images ] opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth's [ Images ] son S Aniruda, who opened the innings with Devendran, and Hemang Badani each fell for 8 runs only.
The Bengal bowlers and fielders were outstanding in the field, allowing no undue luxury to the Tamil Nadu batsmen. Paul finished with figures of 4-0-22-4. Shourasish Lahiry claimed 2 wickets in his 4 overs while giving away 25 runs.
Tamil Nadu ended up with 143 for 9 in 20 overs, losing the contest by 16 runs.
Though it was Sunday, there were no spectators to speak of, except a couple of dozens in one stand, to witness the Bengal versus Tamil Nadu match. The scorching heats as well as lack of star players in both the teams were probably the main reasons to keep the spectators away even as Gujarat Cricket Association kept the tournament free for all.
In the second match on Sunday night, Madhya Pradesh [ Images ] will take on Haryana. It is expected to draw a decent crowd even though there are no famous players in both sides.
It is just that the spectators might love to enjoy the fun in the cool breeze of night after having been confined to the four walls of their homes or work places by a cruel sun in these parts of the country.