Shillong, Nov 3: A swashbuckling performance with the bat by Punit Bisht and Yogesh Nagar, two of Meghalaya’s three professional players, saw the hosts beat Arunachal Pradesh by seven wickets on day three of their Ranji Trophy plate group match here today.

Resuming their second innings on 104/6, and with a first innings lead of 25 to boot, Arunachal did not resist Meghalaya for too long, with their remaining four wickets falling for 27 runs. Left-arm spinner and the other professional in the Meghalaya team, Gurinder Singh, took three of those wickets, ending the innings with 4/21 and match figures of 9/71. The most important one was that of Arunachal captain Kamsha Yangfo, who made 40. Abhay Negi took the other wicket to finish the innings with 4/39.

Meghalaya were thus chasing 157 for victory, but Arunachal made it difficult for them early on with Licha Tehi bagging the early wickets of Raj Biswa and Babloo Passah.

Captain Jason Lamare contributed 29 runs to Meghalaya’s cause before he was dismissed off the bowling of S Thakur.

However, Bisht and Nagar then came together and put on 109 runs to get Meghalaya to the required target well before the tea break. The pair dealt largely in boundaries with Bisht smacking 12 fours in his innings of 66, while Nagar hit nine fours and a six in his innings of 55 off just 51 deliveries. Meghalaya made their required runs in just 32 overs, going at a run rate of 4.91.

Speaking after the game an elated Lamare, whose first innings score of 70 was the highest of the match, said, “In our first innings things didn’t go as planned, but we knew that we’d come back. The pressure was on me when I was batting, but, as captain, it’s my job to take the pressure.”

Meghalaya will now travel to Puducherry for their second match, which will start on November 12.

“We played Puducherry in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and know what they’re like. But I know that if our bowlers click we’ve got one of the best bowling sides of all the nine teams,” Lamare added.

Meghalaya U-16 boys win third consecutive Vijay Merchant match

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya U-16 boys cricket team continued their impressive performance in the Vijay Merchant Trophy, winning their third consecutive match in Tezpur, Assam, today.

Meghalaya made 135 in their first innings in the game that began yesterday before bowling out Sikkim for just 67. Prince Maurya took 5/15, Nirdesh Baisoya 3/26 and Sunvish Charak 1/4 for Meghalaya with the ball.

Baisoya made an unbeaten 50 in Meghalaya’s second innings on the way to his team’s total of 162/8 declared.

In the chase Baisoya turned in another good performance, bagging 4/24, with two wickets each for Gavineal Marpna (2/3), Maurya (2/5) and captain Sudhir Sahani (2/7).

(Photo of the Meghalaya team contributed by the Meghalaya Cricket Association)

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