Shillong, Nov 12:¬†Meghalaya’s bowlers spoiled what would have been a solid day for Puducherry by taking some late wickets on the first day of their Ranji Trophy plate group match in Puducherry today.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first Puducherry were in a commanding position at 263/3 after dominating two and a half sessions and would have wanted to maintain that strong position with just six overs left in the day. However, Meghalaya stunned the hosts by taking four further wickets for the addition of just three runs and Puducherry were left on 269/7 at stumps.

PK Dogra struck 101 for the hosts, while there were also healthy contributions by D Rohit (61 not out) and Abhishek Nayar (57). It was the latter’s wicket that started the rout, with Nayar being bowled by Dipu Sangma (1/23).

Once Sangma claimed that all-important wicket, the way was open for Gurinder Singh (2/58) to dismiss two lower-order batsmen cheaply, while Lakhan Singh (2/69) bagged the other late scalp. Aditya Singhania took the other wicket for Meghalaya – that of centurion Dogra.

Rohit will be the prized wicket for the visitors tomorrow as they will aim to restrict Puducherry to under 300.

25 wickets fall on first day of Nagaland-Meghalaya U-16 Vijay Merchant match

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya U-16 boys team were also in action today, in a Vijay Merchant Trophy North East zone fixture against Nagaland in Golaghat, Assam.

It was a day for the bowlers of both teams as 25 wickets fell on the opening day, with Meghalaya leading by 92 runs at the end of play.

Nagaland won the toss and chose to field and the decision appeared to be the right one as they dismissed Meghalaya for just 119 in their first innings. Five Meghalaya batsmen got into double figures but could not press on and it was tail-ender and captain Sudhir Sahani who top-scored with 27 in an innings that took Meghalaya past 100 runs.

Sahani and Prince Maurya then wreaked havoc in Nagaland’s innings, skittling out their opponents for just 69 in 16.2 overs. Sahani took 5/4, while Maurya ended with 4/4. Only one Nagaland batsman managed to get a real innings going – opening batsman Aman Yadav, who made 46.

Meghalaya thus had a lead of 50 runs going into their second innings, but batting still appeared difficult and the team were reduced to 42/5 at stumps – giving them a lead of 92 with the match almost certainly to end tomorrow.

(TSR file photo of Sudhir Sahani)

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