Shillong, Mar 20:┬áSymper Challengers got their hands on the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s┬áSenior Women T20 Challenger Cup after defeating Simsang Rangers by 35 runs in the final at Polo Ground here today.

Symper were made to bat first after Simsang won the toss but the bright sunny skies of Shillong proved to be just right for their batters as they made 138/4 in the allotted 20 overs, the second-highest score of the tournament.

Debasmita Dutta struck 11 fours in her innings of 56, which came off just 41 deliveries as Symper went at almost seven runs an over. This was Dutta’s second half-century of the competition and she was the eventual player-of-the-match. Suriti Kumar Ray (28) and Riticia Nongbet (25 not out) were also valuable contributors to the Symper cause.

Icyful Mary Lyngkhoi (1/8) found success with the ball in the only over she bowled, while Luiza Tamang (1/19) and Ajima Sangma (1/23) also picked up a scalp each in their full complement of four overs each.

The target was a tall one but Simsang came into this game after scoring 147/6 yesterday, so it was certainly a gettable score. However, their batters struggled today against a talented and very disciplined Symper attack and, coupled with some sharp fielding, they were all out for 103 in 17.2 overs.

Tamang was the mainstay for Simsang and while she was at the crease there was hope for her team. She came to the middle with the scoreboard on 9/2 and took the chase in her own hands, bludgeoning 62 off 43 balls, with 10 fours and the first and only six of the tournament.

No other batter managed to get into double figures, however, and when Tamang was bowled by Jayshree Singh (the first of three wickets for her in the same over) it signalled that the end was nigh.

Jayshree went on to finish with figures of 4/23, while all of the other bowlers – Dutta (1/10), Nongbet (1/17), Ray (1/24) and Fenny Nongrum (1/27) – took one each.

Dutta (174 runs and four wickets) would have also been in consideration for the player-of-the-tournament award but this deservedly went to Rubi Chettri of Umiam Queens for scoring 110 runs and claiming six wickets. She also took five catches, including two off her own bowling.

MCA officials and those of the Shillong Cricket Association, which acted as the host for the tournament, were present at the prize distribution ceremony. In his speech, MCA Honorary Secretary Gideon Kharkongor said that, with continued practice, determination and hard work as was seen from the players in this competition, a BCCI trophy within the next five years is not out of Meghalaya’s reach.

He also said that the state selectors closely observed all seven matches and have submitted the names of those women players who will take part in a camp in Tura from Wednesday to prepare for upcoming BCCI competitions.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo)

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