Bengal and Assam began their campaign in the East Zone Vijay Hazare inter-State one-day cricket tournament on a winning note here on Monday.

Bengal defeated Odisha by seven wickets at the Eden Gardens while Assam outplayed Tripura by eight wickets at the JU Salt Lake ground.

Electing to bat, Odisha put up a modest 210 in 49.3 overs. Having lost an early wicket, Odisha recovered through a 48-run partnership between Sumitosh Praharaj (24) and Natraj Behera (46). Thereafter, wickets started falling at regular intervals to give Bengal the upper hand. Captain Biplab Samantray (36) and Govind Poddar (28) were the other contributors. Left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena was the most successful Bengal bowler taking three for 20 in 10 overs. Ashoke Dinda was the next best with two for 43. By the fifth over, Odisha reduced Bengal to 11 for two dismissing the two openers Joyajit Basu (0) and Sourav Ganguly (12). When Arindam Ghosh (3) fell in the eighth over, it looked Odisha would carry the day.

But it was not to be as the men in form, Wriddhiman Saha (85 not out, 9x4) and Anustup Majumdar (100 not out, 93b, 12x4, 1x6) ensured an unbroken 190-run partnership for the fourth wicket to carry Bengal to 213 for three in 34.4 overs.

Put in, Tripura was dismissed for 180 in 48.3 overs with captain Vinayak Samant top-scoring with 45. Assam's Dheeraj Jadhav anchored the chase with an unbeaten knock of 75 (111b, 6 x 4). Opener Pallav Das (52) was the other to shine with the bat. Assam reached 181 for two in 38 overs.

The scores :

Odisha 210 in 49.3 overs (N. Behera 46, B. Samantray 36, I. Saxena three for 20) lost to Bengal 213 for three in 34.4 overs (W. Saha 85 not out, A. Majumdar 100 not out).

Tripura 180 in 48.3 overs (V. Samant 45, A. Das three for 31) lost to Assam 181 for two in 38 overs (P. Das 52, D. Jadhav 75 not out).

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