A rearguard fight by Mrinal Das and PM Santhosh enabled Meghalaya to take a first innings lead against Manipur on the morning of day two of their U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy Plate Group match in Bhubaneshwar today.
Resuming on 86/6 and still trailing Manipur’s first innings score of 197, Meghalaya lost overnight batter Bharat Gurung for 7, leaving them on 92/7.
However, Das, who began the day on 49 not out, added 93 with No. 9 batter Santhosh to take Meghalaya to within touching distance of their opponents. Das thoroughly deserved a century but was the one to fall first, out for 96 after an innings that included 16 boundaries.
Santhosh carried on, hitting 46 in a final wicket stand with Manish Sharma (15*), as Meghalaya made 230 all out, giving them a handy lead of 33. Santhosh was the last man out, falling for 71 (13 fours). Both he and Das were dismissed by Kadamjit, Manipur’s star bowler, who finished with figures of 7/45.
Manipur overturned that deficit with their opening pair, who made exactly 50 for the first wicket. Sharma (3/73), Raghav Magotra (2/48) and Rohit Yadav (1/22) were among the wickets but, once again, Meghalaya were denied by Jotin Pheiroijam, who scored his second century of the match. Manipur were 203/6 at stumps on the second day, leading by 170, with Pheiroijam on 101 not out; he had made 131 in yesterday’s first innings.
It will thus be important for Meghalaya to dismiss him early tomorrow morning on the penultimate day if they are to have a chance of restricting Manipur to a chaseable target.