Col CK Nayudu Trophy: Meghalaya 4 wickets away from spectacular triumph

Shillong, Jan 30:¬†Meghalaya have scripted a fantastic turnaround and are now just four wickets away from an inspirational victory against Arunachal Pradesh in the U-23 men’s Col CK Nayudu Trophy, with Wednesday being the fourth and final day.

A debt of gratitude has to go to Swastic Chettri, who finished Meghalaya’s second innings on 190 not out, with the team all out for 368. That set Arunachal a target of 348 but at stumps they had already been reduced to 89/6, leaving them 259 from victory.
To recap, Meghalaya were dismissed for 203 on the first day and then saw the opposition take a first innings lead of 21 as they were all out for 224.
Meghalaya started on Tuesday on 208/6 with Swastic on 95. He got to his century within a few minutes and then carried on with a little more fluidity after reaching his milestone. Huge credit also has to go to tailender Bipin Kumar Ray, who stuck it out with the more recognised batter at the other end. He too found runs and a milestone of his own as he was eventually dismissed for 53 (4x4s, 1×6).
Together they had put on 125 for the seventh wicket. This was a notable feat after Meghalaya had been reduced to 100/5 yesterday and spoke volumes of Swastic’s and Bipin’s maturity.
Going for a quick single led to Bipin being run out and Swastic, who scarcely put a foot wrong, then upped his pace as he began to run out of partners. Unfortunately, he was unable to register a double ton but his remarkable innings, which lasted 261 deliveries and included 33 fours, will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Arunachal had tried to keep their spirits up in the face of the Meghalaya onslaught and they entered the chase with a positive mindset. However, Abhishek Kumar set them back with two wickets in his second over and he claimed another before the end of play to finish the day with figures of 3/23 in 13 overs.
Except for a 56-run fifth wicket partnership, Arunachal had little in the way of resistance and Manish Sharma (1/9 in 3 overs), Bipin (1/14 in 4) and Sudhir Sahani (1/31 in 11) ensured that Meghalaya sent six batters in all back to the pavilion and they will be looking to wrap up victory as soon as possible on Wednesday.


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