Shillong, Mar 28:┬áThe Meghalaya Cricket Association’s┬álandmark Senior Men Challengers Cup began today and was midway through a fascinating battle between Nokrek Tigers and Myntdu Lions when rain descended, forcing the match to be abandoned.

The tournament was formally declared open by MCA Vice-President Dipul D Ryntathiang in the morning. Also present for the start was MCA Honorary Treasurer Dhrubajyoti Thakuria, East Khasi Hills District Cricket Association President Dister Marbaniang and All Jaintia Cricket Association President Eddystone Shylla.

The Lions’ captain Dippu Ch Sangma won the toss and chose to field first, a decision that appeared to be the right one as the Tigers were dismissed for exactly 150 in 31.2 overs.

Aryan Bora proved to be lethal with his left-arm spin, taking 5/36 as Nokrek, led by Sylvester Mylliempdah (20), were left reeling at 79/7 at one stage. However, Anish Charak found support from tail-ender Ram Gurung (15 not out) in a partnership of 67 for the eighth wicket. Charak plundered the bowling, especially taking to spinners, as he struck 52 off 42 deliveries, including five fours and three sixes.

Dippu (2/33) managed to get through his defences, clean bowling him in the 29th over and Myntdu were able to wrap up the innings soon after. The other bowlers to take wickets were Riboklang Hynniewta (1/13), Chengkam Sangma (1/15) and Pankaj Mandal (1/25).

There was enough time for the second innings to begin before lunch but Myntdu Lions struggled even more with the bat, finishing on 13/3 in six overs when the players went in for a break. Charak (2/3) struck twice in the same over, while Ram took 1/10.

That proved to be the last action of the day, however, as the heavens opened and the ground was drenched in rain. Although the weather let up later on, the outfield was too wet to continue and each team was thus awarded one point each.

Tomorrow, Umiam Eagles will take on Simsang Sharks at 9am.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. Nokrek Tigers’ Rajesh Tati is bowled off the bowling of Dippu Ch Sangma)

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