Shillong, Mar 18: Tura District Cricket Association qualified for the final of the U-23 Boys Inter District Cricket Tournament by winning their third match on the trot in Zone 2 in Mendipathar, North Garo Hills, today.
Ri-Bhoi, meanwhile, secured first place in Zone 1’s Group B. They will meet the top team from Group A on Monday for a place in the tournament final.
Ri-Bhoi were up against East Khasi Hills in Nongkhrah, Ri-Bhoi, and won by 140 runs. Prior to today, both teams had won two matches each and so both were looking for victory in order to progress to the zonal final.
EKH won the toss and elected to field and their opponents amassed 274/7 in a maximum 46 overs. Opening batter and man-of-the-match Deekreat Nath (pictured below) thumped three sixes and 11 fours in his 97 off 125 deliveries, while Laxman Gurung was unbeaten on 62 off 53 (7x4s, 3x6s). Seven bowlers were used by EKH, five of whom claimed at least a wicket, with Shongdorlang Shangpliang (2/54) the only one to walk away with a brace.
EKH found it hard to get going in the chase, with Bharat Gurung removing the top three batters and finishing with exceptional figures of 3/15 in 10 overs. EKH were bowled out 134 in 37.1 overs, with Wankitlang Nongpluh top-scoring with 36. Banialam (3/22) and Sadashiv Prasad (3/42) also picked up three wickets each for Ri-Bhoi.
In the other game, Tura defeated South Garo Hills by five wickets. SGH, who had lost their first two games, batted first after winning the toss but were all out for 115 in 37.2 overs. Three batters reached double figures, with Richard N Sangma topping the list with 28 runs. Banang Marak scalped 3/15, man-of-the-match Aniket Basfor (featured photo) 3/17 and Manish Sharma 2/32.
Tura’s Pringstar S Sangma struck six fours in an innings of 43 off 38 deliveries and the team came through with plenty of time to spare, reaching the target in just 23.1 overs, though they did lose five wickets along the way – taken by Jangrik, Markush R Sangma, Sundaybirth K Marak, Quebirth M Sangma and Demesa R Marak.
Tomorrow, the Shillong Cricket Association A and B teams will clash in Zone 1’s Group A to decide who meets Ri-Bhoi in the zonal final. Both SCA (A) and SCA (B) won their opening two matches. In Zone 2, North Garo Hills and East Garo Hills will also go head to head, though neither side can catch up with Tura.