Shillong, Apr 2: Nokrek Tigers were supreme in the field as they defended a small total to beat Umiam Eagles by 34 runs in the sixth match of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s Senior Men Challengers Cup here today.

After winning the toss and batting first, the Tigers were all out for just 165 but the Sylvester Mylliempdah-led side were in no mood to roll over without a fight and bowled out the Eagles for 131 in an exciting contest.

Conditions varied throughout the day, though, thankfully, rain stayed away. Windy, overcast conditions in the morning were perfect for bowling and Umiam made regular inroads into their opponents’ batting line-up. Skipper Raj Biswa performed best with figures of 4/40 with his off-spin; one of his victims was the tournament’s current lead run-scorer, Anish Charak, who was out for 19.

But, as his team mates fell around him, Nokrek’s Rajesh Tati, who had only managed 11 runs from two innings prior to today, stepped up with a fine 56 before he was stumped by Wallam John L Kynshi off the bowling of Biswa.

Krishna Thapa (23) was the other major contributor to the score, while the other wicket-takers were Lakhan Singh (2/30), Sengchim Momin (1/8), Morningstar Khongwir (1/9), Rahul Shah (1/16) and Aditya Singhania (1/31).

A total of 165 was not a big ask but it at least gave the Tigers something to bowl at. Because the first innings ended early, the Eagles began their chase immediately and survived five overs without loss before lunch was taken.

The strong start by Biswa (19) and Bamanbha Shangpliang (20) continued after the break but the brilliant sunshine disappeared with the return of a stiff breeze, which may have helped the bowlers, and the 38-run opening stand was broken by Charak (3/42).

The Eagles came crashing down after that with Sengpan CT Sangma (3/28) bowling two batters in the same over and Biswa getting run out after attempting a single on a misfield.

Umiam were then reduced to 73/6 before a slight recovery took them past 100 but Donlang Warjri was then bowled by Charak for 18 and 7.3 overs later the game was wrapped up. Steve Syiemlieh (1/13) and Ram Gurung (1/28) were the others to claim wickets.

Although he did make a couple of mistakes behind the stumps, including dropping a catch, Tati’s half-century was invaluable to the cause and he was named player-of-the-match.

The Eagles will be in action again tomorrow as they face Myntdu Lions from 9AM.

The Lions and Tigers both have 10 points each at the top of the points table but the former are ahead on net run rate. The sides met on the opening day but that match was rained out and each side received 2 points. Umiam are currently third with 4 points, while Symper Panthers and Simsang Sharks are still looking for their first win.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo)

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