Shillong, Dec 16: Meghalaya rose above the challenge of a first innings deficit to record a two-wicket victory over Mizoram in their first Ranji Trophy match of the season in Nadiad, Gujarat, today.
Set a challenging target of 298 to win, Meghalaya were 245/8 when Dippu Ch Sangma and Akash K Choudhary made 55 for the ninth wicket to take the team to victory.
Dippu has a first class century to his name against Mizoram but has not had many big scores of late. He was dismissed for 1 in the first innings but came good when it mattered most today, finishing on 36 not out. Akash, meanwhile, showed that he can be handy with the bat, as he contributed an unbeaten 18.
Meghalaya began play on the fourth and final day today in the plate group match on 75/3, requiring 223 more to win.
Having come to the crease just before stumps yesterday, guest professional Punit Bisht and Swarajeet Das resumed their fourth wicket partnership, which in the end yielded 90 runs. Both batters, as it happened, made 53 each.
Mizoram’s guest professional Avinash Yadav took 6/39 in Meghalaya’s first innings and proved to be the most dangerous once again as he claimed 5/103. He was used almost continuously, bowling exactly 50 overs out of 105.4, but this time the Meghalaya batters approached him more cautiously.
Following the departures of the half-centurions, guest professional Rajesh Bishnoi (27), Bamanbha Shangpliang (19) and Lerry Sangma (23) all chipped in with runs.
However, there was concern when both Shangpliang and Lerry were dismissed within four deliveries of each other, which left Meghalaya needing 53 runs from their tail-enders. That concern faded, however, as Dippu and Akash settled in, though they had to keep a steady nerve, given that there was only the Number 11 batter to come, until Dippu struck a boundary to win the game.
The Meghalaya team will now return home for their second Ranji match, which will be against Sikkim in Shillong from 20th December.