Shillong, Sep 17: Cricket fans could not have wished for a better final of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s U-19 Girls Inter District Cricket Tournament, which was won by Shillong Cricket Association by a miniscule two-run margin against Ri-Bhoi District Cricket Association at Umbuda Ground, Nongpoh, on Saturday.
SCA were made to bat first after losing the toss and posted 157/7 in the full 35 overs. Although Anjana Sahani (15), Jayshree Singh (14) and Chandni Kumari Sahani (18) all got starts, their dismissals gave Ri-Bhoi hope of restricting Shillong to a low score.
However, fast bowler and captain Neelam Roy came in at Number 8 and performed an admirable recovery, hitting an unbeaten 40 from 46 balls to get her side to a challenging total.
Three batters fell to run outs, with Ankita Sharma bagging 2/23 as the most successful bowler.
In the chase, it was Ankita who dominated proceedings as wickets fell around her. She singlehandedly made 83 from 89 balls (10x4s, 2x6s) in an innings that almost carried her team over the finish line. However, she was dismissed 3.1 overs before the end and Ri-Bhoi fell agonisingly just short.
Three SCA bowlers bagged a brace each – Neelam (2/17), Natasha Rabha (2/25) and Jennyfer Fancon (2/28). The latter accounted for the all-important wicket of Ankita.
The last over saw Ri-Bhoi requiring seven runs for victory but two wickets by Neelam ensured that they were restricted to 155/8.
The final was attended by senior MCA officials and those representing district associations and the champions’ trophy was presented to the SCA players by MCA President Naba Bhattacharjee, while that of the runners-up was presented to the Ri-Bhoi players by MCA Vice-President and Ri-Bhoi DCA President Rayonald Kharkamni.
(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. MCA President Naba Bhattacharjee presenting the champions’ trophy to Shillong Cricket Association)