U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy, Round 5

Shillong, Dec 28: Meghalaya performed brilliantly with bat and ball on the final day of their Round 5 U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy match against Nagaland to win by 90 runs at the MCA Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

Resuming play in the morning on 70/6 and leading by 142 runs, Dikshit Parmar (48) and Abhishek Gupta (36 not out) added another 39 runs before the former fell with the score on 109. Gupta and tail-ender Sudhir Sahani (34 not out off 28 balls) then struck 53 runs together before Meghalaya declared on 162/7 a few overs before lunch, setting Nagaland 235 for victory.

However, the visitors were constantly pegged back by Meghalaya’s bowlers and were dismissed for 144, with Swastic Chettri claiming four top-order wickets for 53 runs, which gave him excellent match figures of 9-91.

Prasant managed 45 runs for Nagaland as his team looked to try and eke out a draw, but he was dismissed by Kirtirajsinh Raulji (2-4) and there was no real resistance after that. Sunvish Charak (2-20) and Sahani (1-36) were also among the wickets for the hosts.

It was a highly motivational win for Meghalaya as the state had lost their two previous rounds to Manipur and Bihar after earlier beating Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Over the course of the five matches, Meghalaya’s top scorer was Dikshit Parmar, who made 339 runs (including two centuries) at an average of 42.38. As the state’s main wicketkeeper, he also effected one stumping and took seven catches.

Chettri did not play in the first two games, but even so he ended with the third-highest number of wickets (17) at the best average among his peers (12.29). Second-highest was Gavineal Marpna (18 wickets, 13.17 average) and captain Rushikesh Jadhav (19 wickets, 15.68 average). The latter also struck 259 runs at an average of 32.38.

Meghalaya finished the six-team group in third, tied on 20 points with second-placed Nagaland, but with a less positive net run rate. Bihar ended at the top with 34 points.

(Photo contributed by the Meghalaya Cricket Association)

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