Shillong, Dec 27: Meghalaya bookended the first day of their Ranji Trophy plate group match against Bihar with some excellent bowling that left the visitors on 247/7 at stumps at the MCA Ground here today.

The start was delayed due to a wet outfield brought about by yesterday’s rain. Conditions were also windy, which may have aided the Meghalaya quicks in the morning session after Bihar won the toss and chose to bat first.

Abhishek Kumar (1/50) pitched a perfect delivery to rattle the stumps of Bihar’s Babul Kumar with the very first delivery of the day, while Akash K Choudhury (1/36) had another batter dismissed with a lovely low catch by Raj Biswa in the slips.

Only 11 overs were possible in the first session because of the delay in the start as well as onfield treatment for two Bihar batters who were struck on the body. One of these was S Gani, who had to be taken for an X-ray but was able to return later on and, at stumps, was not out on 52.

However, the second session belonged to Bihar’s Bipin Saurabh, who struck a highly entertaining 107 from just 115 deliveries. He and his partner, Sachin Kumar Singh (52), put on 133 for the third wicket.

After lunch, Saurabh unleashed plenty of shots that went to the boundary or even over it. In all, he hit 11 fours and seven sixes around the park, while Sachin also struck seven fours in his more patient innings of 106 balls.

Eventually, Sachin fell to the off-spin of Shaisngi Lyngdoh (1/21), while guest professional Rajesh Bishnoi had Saurabh out lbw. Bishnoi was able to dismiss another three lower-order batters before the day was up and the left-arm orthodox bowler finished with figures of 4/56.

He will be the go-to bowler when play resumes tomorrow morning, while the visitors will aim to stretch themselves to at least 300.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. Meghalaya’s Abhishek Kumar (fourth left) is congratulated on getting a wicket)

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