Shillong, Feb 12: Indomitable Meghalaya waltzed into the final of the U-23 men’s Col CK Nayudu Trophy plate group by completely routing Mizoram in the semifinal by an innings and 107 runs at the MCA Ground here today morning.

Resuming on 18/1, Mizoram were all out for 90, a slight improvement on their 33/10 in the first innings. Meghalaya had made 230 in their only innings.

Around 90 minutes were required for Meghalaya to take the remaining nine wickets they needed to win the match and they were able to do so in part thanks to another stellar bowling effort by pacer Abhishek Kumar, who claimed 5/29 in this innings to go along with his 6/4 in the first for absolutely amazing combined match figures of 11/33.

Manish Sharma took 3/24, with the left-arm orthodox spinner still required to open the bowling in partnership with Abhishek as fast bowler PM Santhosh, who shone with bat and ball yesterday, did not take to the field due to injury. The two other wickets were bagged by Bipin Kumar Ray (1/9) and Agreas Chamcham Sangma (1/11).

As was the case yesterday, batting early on in the morning session was a huge difficulty for Mizoram and they were quickly reduced to 35/6. A few short entertaining knocks by the middle and lower order delayed the inevitable but the hosts could not be denied victory.

Meghalaya will play either Nagaland or Arunachal Pradesh in the final, with the semi between these two teams yet to finish. Meghalaya have beaten both sides in the round robin stage – in fact, the team are now on a six-match winning streak and one more would be the icing on the cake.

The final will begin on 18th February at a venue to be decided.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. Meghalaya’s Abhishek Kumar receives the two match balls he bowled with to take 11 wickets from the match referee)

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