Aryan Borah bamboozled the opposition to claim 6/58 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy plate group semifinal between Meghalaya and Mizoram in Mangaldai, Assam, today.
Batting first after winning the toss, Mizoram were all out for 144, while Meghalaya reached 115/5 by stumps, trailing by 29.
Aryan had claimed 12 wickets in the previous match against Sikkim and carried that brilliant form into today, removing both the openers before getting the better of the middle order batters and the tail as well. In all the left-arm orthodox spinner bowled 20.3 overs, nearly half of Mizoram’s entire innings of 46.3.
The big wicket of guest player Agni Chopra (53), though, was taken by pace bowler Akash Kumar Choudhury, who bagged 3/36 in 14 overs. The other wicket to fall was taken by fellow fast bowler Chengkam Sangma (1/27 in 7).
With a total of 15 wickets falling on the day, it was obviously not a batter’s paradise and Meghalaya had their fair share of difficulties when it came time for their first innings.
35/3 was where they were when Dippu Sangma and Kishan Lyngdoh came together to steady the ship and they put on exactly 60 for the fourth wicket before Dippu fell for 24. Kishan was out three overs later for 32 but Jaskirat Singh Sachdeva (10 not out) and Swarajeet Das (3 not out) held out until the end of play.
Unlike Mizoram, Meghalaya are playing without any guest players in the Ranji Trophy this season and the local lads have acquitted themselves well, finishing second in the round robin stage. One of their two defeats came at the hands of Mizoram and Meghalaya are looking to avenge that result. On the back of an excellent bowling display, the middle and lower order will aim to overhaul that 29-run deficit and then build up a lead tomorrow morning.