Apandanka Marak continued his excellent string of performances in the U-16 boys’ Vijay Merchant Trophy with a phenomenal hat-trick against top order batters of Arunachal Pradesh in Cuttack today.
Arunachal won the toss yesterday and batted first but could only muster 116/10, with Gaurav Jyoti Thakuria taking six wickets for Meghalaya, who then went on to make 304 all out riding on Rudra Singh Rathore’s 107.
Starting their second innings today, Arunachal were left on 31/5 at stumps, with Apandanka claiming four wickets.
His hat-trick was spread across two overs with all three batters bowled off their first deliveries faced. Opening the bowling, he dismissed No. 2 Nabam Gania for the first of the three golden ducks with the fifth ball of the innings and Tana Hurka with the very next.
Then, with the first ball of his next over, he was able to dismiss No. 4 Nabam Jenam to complete his hat-trick and send his team mates rushing towards him in celebration.
Apandanka would go on to claim another wicket 2 overs later to finish with figures of 4/11 in 7 devastating overs while Paisal Ali (1/11 in 6) claimed the other scalp to fall today.
Yesterday, Apandanka took 3/43 in 13 overs but the day belonged to Thakuria, who bagged an impressive 6/23 in 11.2 as Arunachal were dismissed for 116 in the 40th over. Mewankitbok M Kharpuri (1/16 in 7) was the other wicket taker. Thakuria has yet to bowl in Arunachal’s second innings but if and when he does he will also be on a hat-trick as he dismissed the last two batters in the first innings off consecutive balls.
The partnership of note in Meghalaya’s first innings was between Rudra and Gaurav Narleng, who put on 122 for the third wicket after Meghalaya were 49/2. Scoring has been slow throughout the match and Rudra demonstrated patience and care to craft his 107 from 273 deliveries (12x4s), while Narleng made 67 from 142 (11x4s).
Paisal (34 from 71) and Mewankitbok (25 from 84) performed worthwhile cameos down the order and these helped Meghalaya get past 300, which also gave them a healthy 188-run first innings lead over their opponents.