Jharkhand had no need of skipper MS Dhoni’s batting heroics as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Services in a group D encounter of the Vijay Hazare Trophy cricket tournament at Kalyani on Monday.
Jharkhand raced to 279/3 with 22 balls to spare, with Saurabh Tiwary and Ishank Jaggi cracking centuries during an unfinished 214-run stand for the fourth wicket, as Dhoni waited in vain in the pavilion for his turn in the 22 yards at the Bengal Cricket Academy Grounds. Services had earlier notched up 276/9 in their quota of 50 overs.
Coming together at 65/3 in the 17th over, Tiwary (102 not out, 103 b, 3×4, 6×6) and Ishank Jaggi (116 not out, 92 b; 10×4, 4×6), rode on the benevolence of Jharkhand fielders to first consolidate the innings and then beat the opponent bowling attack into pulp.
Tiwary, dropped even before he had started bothering the scorer, reached his sixth List A century during the day. Jaggi celebrated a similary lucky escape on 25 to get to his second three-figure score in List A games.
The small industrial town of Kalyani saw a huge craze among fans for the former Indian captain, with thousands gathering outside the stadium chanting his name.
However, Dhoni made his contribution behind the stumps, effecting two run-outs and taking the catch of rival skipper Soumya Swain.
Batting first, Services opened on a high as Gaurav Kochar (50) and Nakul Verma 48) put on 114 runs for the first wicket.
Shamser Yadav (54 not out) and Rahul Singh (40) then put on a brisk 84 runs for the fifth wicket to lent muscle to the lower order.
Jharkhand, who went down to Karnataka in their first match, have now bagged eight points from three outings on the strength of two consecutive wins
Services 276/9 (S Yadav 54 not out, G Kochar 50: Shahbaz Nadeem 3/52) vs Jharkhand 279/3 in 46.2 overs (I Jaggi 116 not out, S Tiwary 102 not out) in a group D match at Bengal Cricket Academy, Kalyani.
Karnataka 201 in 47.1 overs (M Agarwal 89; K Patel 4/36, C Jani 3/40) vs Saurashtra 128 in 36.2 overs (R More 4/20,) in a group D match at Eden Gardens.
Chhattisgarh 235/9 (A Chauhan 90 not out, A Khare 57; M Mudhasir 6/33) vs Jammu and Kashmir 231 in 48.2 overs (P Bisht 68, P Rasool 51; P Rao 4/35) in a group D match at Jadavpur University stadium, Salt Lake.