Shillong, Nov 1: Meghalaya’s professional player Gurinder Singh claimed 5/50 as the hosts bowled out Arunachal Pradesh for just 166 on the first day of the historic Ranji Trophy match at the Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) Ground here today.
Meghalaya then had a tough time with the bat, finishing on 87/6 at stumps, with captain Jason Lamare providing an anchor-like innings. He remains on 42 not out.
Meanwhile, the MCA organised a function prior to the start of the match to mark the historic entry of Meghalaya into India’s first-class cricket scene. Former Chief Secretary of Meghalaya, HWT Syiem, who is also a former cricketer, graced the occasion as chief guest along with KVP Rao, the BCCI’s Assistant General Manager (Cricket Operations) as guest of honour. They were felicitated by MCA Honorary Secretary Naba Bhattacharjee.
Coming back to the first day’s action, Meghalaya won the toss and put Arunachal in to bat first. Samarth Seth struck 50 for the openers, but Meghalaya took regular wickets to bowl out the visitors for under 200. Besides off-spinner Gurinder’s heroics, fast bowler Lakhan Singh bagged 3/38, while Dipu Sangma took 1/15 and Abhay Negi 1/35.
Meghalaya then had around two hours to bat before stumps, but they had their own difficulties with the bat. Openers Raj Biswa and Babloo Passah fell cheaply and even the professional trio of Punit Bisht, Yogesh Nagar and Gurinder (who did so well for Meghalaya in the one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy that preceded the Ranji) could not make any headway against the Arunachal bowlers.
Thankfully for the hosts, captain Jason Lamare struck 42 not out and Meghalaya will look to him to keep the side going on the second day of the four-day match. His partner is Aditya Singhania, who is not out on 16. Licha Tehi has the best figures for Arunachal, having taken 3/18. He claimed the wickets of Biswa, Bisht and Nagar.
(Photos contributed by the Meghalaya Cricket Association. The featured photo is of Meghalaya’s Gurinder Singh bowling)