Shillong, Apr 5:¬†Umiam Eagles saw their hopes of a place in the final of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s Senior Men Challengers Cup crushed today as Symper Panthers pulled off the upset of the tournament by winning their meeting by 99 runs here.

Symper made 246/7 in 50 overs and then bowled Umiam out for 147.

The Eagles needed a win to qualify for the top two, while the Panthers, who had lost all three of their previous games, had only pride to play for.

There were several firsts today – brilliant sunshine throughout, the first century, the highest team score and the first team to bat out a full 50 overs.

Symper won the toss and captain Kishan Lyngdoh chose to bat first. Leading from the front, he crafted a fantastic 102 from 123 deliveries and hit nine fours and a six along the way. He was given excellent company by Swarajeet Das, who was out for 80 (10x4s) in an opening partnership of 159, which is comfortably the highest of the tournament.

All three previous matches for the Panthers were cut short because of the weather but today they were able to patiently construct their innings and Lyngdoh and Das executed the plan to perfection. They made the Eagles toil in the sun before Aditya Singhania (1/40) took a sharp catch off his own bowling to dismiss Das.

Lakhan Singh, who took 5/37 against the Lions on Sunday, snapped up 4/42 today, including the wicket of prize batter Lyngdoh; several of the Eagles were quick to shake the Panthers captain’s hand as he left the field.

Umiam started the chase well once again, thanks to Raj Biswa’s 30 and Bamanbha Shangpliang’s 20. The right-hand, left-hand combination resulted in Symper conceding plenty of wides that boosted the Eagles’ total and run rate early on.

However, the introduction of Babloo Passah (3/16) proved to be the beginning of the end, as he had Biswa caught by Lyngdoh at cover off his very first delivery, breaking the 55-run partnership.

The gentlest of medium pace saw Passah net another two wickets, while the spin of Bijon Dey (4/29) and Himan Phukan (3/17) claimed the other batters.

Lyngdoh was unsurprisingly named player-of-the-match and his fantastic innings has made him the tournament’s leading run scorer with 181.

Tomorrow will see the last of the round robin matches, between bottom side Simsang Sharks and toppers Nokrek Tigers.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. Kishan Lyngdoh of Symper Panthers raises his bat towards his team mates in the dugout after reaching his century)

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