Shillong, Dec 28: Meghalaya still require 132 runs, but only have four wickets in hand, to beat Arunachal Pradesh after an interesting second day of their U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match saw 22 wickets fall.

Resuming their first innings on 80/4 in Bhubaneshwar, Meghalaya were all out for 124 before their bowlers then dismissed Arunachal for 128. That set Meghalaya a target of 223 for victory but they had already lost six wickets for 91 at the day’s end.

Kevin Christopher could only add seven runs to his overnight score to fall for 42 and Meghalaya lost their last six first innings wickets for just 32 runs.

Arunachal are the top team in the Plate Group but they also struggled with the bat in their second innings, producing only 128 compared to their 218 from the first innings.

Meghalaya claimed the first three wickets in two overs but Ankit Solanki’s 64 proved decisive as he carried Arunachal over the 100-mark. Meghalaya used just four bowlers in this innings, with the impressive, if a little expensive, Purav Agarwal bagging 5/53. PM Santhosh (2/18), Manish Sharma (2/32) and Navin Kumar Ray (1/23) were the other wicket-takers.

Chasing a 200-plus score was never going to be easy and Meghalaya could only reach 91 in the 40 overs they batted in the second half of the day.

Stitching partnerships together was the team’s problem, though opener Mrinal Das helped as much as he could with an innings of 32. His wicket reduced Meghalaya to 54/5 but hopes were partially restored with a 33-run stand by Christopher and Rohit Yadav, which was eked out over the course of almost 20 overs.

However, Christopher was dismissed in the last over of the day for 16, with Yadav not out at the other end on 19 with much responsibility on his shoulders going into day three tomorrow.

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