Honours were split fairly evenly between Meghalaya and Manipur on the first day of their U-19 men’s Cooch Behar Trophy match at the MCA Ground in Polo here today as the hosts scored 264 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
This is the last match for both sides and Meghalaya come into it on the back of two victories in away matches against Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Today, Meghalaya won the toss and chose to bat under clear skies. Their first innings was characterised by players losing their wickets after getting good starts, with five of the top six batters all among the runs. Shubham Rasaily (48 from 92 deliveries) and Shavian Blah (46 from 68) were within striking distance of their half-centuries before falling.
All of the first four batters were out caught behind, either by the wicketkeeper or in the slip cordon.
Despite losing these four before lunch, Meghalaya went at a good run rate, scoring at between 4 and 5 per over throughout the first session. There was a high percentage of boundaries, as Manipur were guilty of being a little wayward with their deliveries, while Meghalaya’s Shubham (9x4s), Dipankar Baruah (37 from 42 balls, 8x4s) and Pushkar Raj Singh (25 from 21, 5x4s) played some good shots around the park.
The pace began to slow in the afternoon but Meghalaya kept the runs ticking over with 84 – the best partnership of the day – being put on by Shavian and Avinash Rai (35 from 105) for the fifth wicket. However, both set batters got out in the space of six deliveries and that is when the hosts really went into their shell, with Kishlay Vishlux (17 not out) and Angkit Tamang (19) determined to see out the remaining couple of hours.
They almost did it too but Angkit was bowled in the final over of the day after soldiering on for 105 deliveries.
Eight different bowlers were utilised by the visitors today, with five of them taking at least a wicket. Ilyas finished with the best figures of 2/42.
Tomorrow’s first target for Meghalaya will be to get to 300, which would put the hosts in a strong position going forward.