Shillong, Feb 26: Ri-Bhoi had the upper hand over East Jaintia Hills at stumps on the first day of their Inter-District U-23 Cricket Tournament match in Nongpoh today, with the latter made to follow-on and still trailing by 145 runs.
However, it is more even in Mendipathar where South Garo Hills lead South West Khasi Hills by 34 runs after the conclusion of the first innings for both sides.
In the Zone 1 game Ri-Bhoi won the toss and elected to bat, making 244 all out, with Bibek Powdel producing a finely-crafted 120 off 99 deliveries, while Laxman Gurung managed a supportive 42. Saroj Raut (6/64) was the pick of the bowlers for EJH.
Ri-Bhoi also had a bowler who bagged a six-for, namely Ram Gurung (6/25), and they were able to dismiss EJH for 63, a deficit of 181. Peter Sangma was the top-scorer for EJH in their first innings with 17.
Following on, East Jaintia were on 36/2 at the end of the day’s play, still 145 runs away from making Ri-Bhoi bat again.
In Zone 2, South West Khasi Hills chose to bat after winning the toss and were restricted to 140/9 (with one batsman having to retire hurt). Eight batsmen reached double figures but the highest individual score was only 26, made by Pyntngenlang Lyngdoh. Chengsrang S Marak returned the best figures with 3/28.
Jopborlang Lyngdoh then did a fine job with the ball for SWKH, taking 5/28, while Shanborlang Dkhar bagged 3/38. However, the SGH batsmen managed to find a few runs between the fall of wickets and were all out for 174, giving the Garo Hills side a lead of 34. Both Gideon Marak and Richard N Sangma scored 32 runs each.
(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo of the Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills teams)