Shillong, Dec 21: Meghalaya pulled off a sensational performance to beat Sikkim by 10 wickets on only the second day of their Ranji Trophy plate group match at the MCA Ground here today.
After taking a first innings lead of 13, Meghalaya skittled the visitors for just 90, leaving them 78 to win with around an hour’s play left in the day as the light was fading.
Not wanting to stretch the match into a third day, Raj Biswa led the way with a very positive approach to batting that saw him strike an unbeaten 56 from just 32 deliveries, which included seven fours and two sixes in front of square on the leg side. This is his third career half-century in this format.
At the other end was his partner Kishan Lyngdoh, who played a supporting role at first before racing to a run-a-ball 16 not out (3x4s) as Meghalaya polished off the required runs in just 8 overs at a run rate of 9.75.
Earlier, Meghalaya resumed their first innings on 46/3 in the morning, 94 runs behind Sikkim’s effort of 140 all out the previous day.
The hosts did not have a great morning session, however, slipping to 88/8, with guest professional and captain Punit Bisht out for 24, Bamanbha Shangpliang 19 and Dippu Ch Sangma 14. The rescue was provided by the other guest professional in the team, Rajesh Bishnoi, and Akash K Choudhary, who put on 59 for the ninth wicket.
Bishnoi was finally out lbw to leg-spinner Ankur Malik for 30. Choudhary and Number 11 Md Nafees brought up the side’s 150 with a quickly run three but the latter fell soon after to Sikkim’s most successful bowler, Palzor Tamang (5/43), which left tail-ender Choudhary not out on 31, the highest score for Meghalaya.
The two teams took lunch following the last Meghalaya wicket to fall and the visitors started nicely enough in their second innings, with all three of their top batters getting into the 20s. However, many of their runs came through edges that flew through the slip cordon and were not the most convincing of shots.
A spell of excellent bowling saw Dippu net 4/26 but it was Bishnoi who again came through for Meghalaya, taking 5/19, which gave him match figures of 9/28. These are the best figures in Ranji Trophy cricket for the two individuals. Nafees (1/7) bagged the other wicket to fall as Sikkim went from 57/2 to 90 all out.
Meghalaya will return to action after Christmas as they host Bihar from 27th December at the same ground.
(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo)