Shillong, Dec 15: Spin duo Ashutosh Aman and Samar Quadri bowled Bihar to victory by an innings an 71 runs in a low-scoring Ranji Trophy match at the MCA Cricket Ground here today.
On the first day yesterday Meghalaya had made 125 in their first innings, to which Bihar had responded with 80/2 at stumps. Today, on the second day, the visitors were bowled out for 242, a lead of 117, and Meghalaya then had a disappointing second innings in which they were bowled out for just 46, with all 10 wickets shared by Aman (6/17) and Quadri (4/24).
Early in the morning Meghalaya struck early to dismiss Bihar captain Babul Kumar for 43, his wicket taken by Gurinder Singh, who trapped him lbw. Bihar were never able to really settle as Meghalaya kept chipping away with wickets and when the visitors lost their ninth wicket with 183 on the board Meghalaya must have been hoping to get their second innings going soon.
However, Bihar’s last two batsmen – Aman (35 not out) and Quadri (27) as it happens – were resolute and struck 59 runs together for the 10th wicket, first getting their team over the 200-run mark and then to a 100-plus lead.
Pace bowler Lakhan Singh, who came off the field yesterday after making a valiant dive on the boundary rope to prevent a four, had the best figures for the home team, having taken 3/30. Gurinder finished with 3/81, while Aditya Singhania took 2/83 and Abhay Negi 1/24.
Bihar almost exclusively used spin against Meghalaya in their second innings, with pacer Vivek Kumar bowling just five overs.
Spin, though, was the answer, as it turned out, with only one batsman, Gurinder (10), getting into double figures.
With his eight wickets from the first innings, Aman ended the day with match figures of 14/68, which easily made him the star performer.
Meghalaya will have to dust themselves off, and do it quickly, after this performance as they will face Mizoram from 20th December.
U-16 VIJAY MERCHANT TROPHY
Meanwhile, Meghalaya began their pre-quarterfinal match of the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy against Maharashtra in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, today.
A sensational performance in the North East Zone saw Meghalaya win all their games to qualify for the next round.
Maharashtra won the toss today and chose to bat and put on 324 for the loss of three wickets in 96 overs. Gavineal Marpna, a spinner, claimed 1/31, while his team mates Nirdesh Baisoya (1/63) and Sudhir Sahani (1/75) also took a wicket each.
(Photo of Bihar’s Ashutosh Aman bowling contributed by the Meghalaya Cricket Association)