Arunachal Pradesh will be well-pleased after the first day of their U-23 men’s Col CK Nayudu Trophy match against Meghalaya at the MCA Ground here today.
After being made to bat first, Meghalaya were all out for 203 and Arunachal were 101/2 at stumps.
As has been the norm in Shillong of late, teams that win the toss choose to field first in order to make the most of the conditions, which tend to favour fast bowlers early on.
The hosts, though, got off to a cracking start thanks to Mrinal Das, who hit two towering sixes and four fours as he raced to 34 from 20 balls when he perhaps went after one too many and was caught at extra cover.
While he was not afraid to take the bowlers on, his opening partner Nishanta Chakraborty (8) did not look as comfortable. He flashed at a widish one that luckily flew through the slips but was bowled soon after. Kush Agarwal (11) and Swastic Chettri (6) were also dismissed cheaply and the responsibility thus fell to captain Kevin Christopher, who was once again called on to lead his troops.
Kevin looked well-set but a pacy delivery from Mibom Mosu had him out lbw for 41 from 42 balls (9x4s).
However, the real treat for Meghalaya fans was in the innings of Manish Sharma. More known for his bowling, the left-hander clattered Arunachal’s bowlers around the ground in a delightful knock of 61 from 62 balls wherein he hit 11 fours. A sharp catch by Nabam Kama off the bowling of R Jangra ended his run and, with it, Meghalaya’s hopes and the team were out for 203 early in the second session.
Although Abhishek Kumar (1/38 in 9 overs) struck early on, Arunachal had a solid second wicket partnership of 85 runs through Leki Tsering (40 from 53) and Amarjeet Sharma (47 not out from 75). Tsering was dismissed by Sudhir Sahani (1/37 in 8).
Bad light ended play early and Meghalaya will want a fresh start tomorrow as they seek to bundle out the visiting side quickly.