Shillong, Sep 29: Defending a low total of 79 was no problem for East Garo Hills District Cricket Association as they defeated Shillong Cricket Association A by 18 runs in the second semifinal of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s U-19 Boys Inter District Cricket Tournament in Salpara, Mendipathar, on Friday.
It will thus be an all-Garo Hills final on Saturday between EGH and Tura DCA, who won the first semifinal against West Jaintia Hills DCA on Thursday.
Ayushman Rabha bowled a sensational spell of 8 overs for 4/7 as SCA-A rattled the EGH batters badly, dismissing them for a mere 79 in 28.2 out of available 40 overs. It could have been so much worse for the batting side, but thanks to Lensbirth N Marak’s run-a-ball 35, EGH had something to bowl at.
The other Shillong bowlers to shine today were Charm Marbaniang (3/12 in 7 overs) and Angkit Tamang (2/12 in 4.2 overs). Along with Ayushman, this trio of bowlers, with the wicketkeeper and fielders also playing their part, ensured that East Garo Hills went from 45/1 at the fall of the second wicket to 79/10, losing 9/34.
Lensbirth, the only batter to get into double figures for EGH, is the second-highest scorer in the tournament with 154 runs.
His 35 proved decisive as SCA-A struggled with the bat too. Like in the first innings, three bowlers shared almost all the wickets between them – Bilgrak G Sangma (3/7 in 6.1 overs), who proved almost impossible to score off, Jeristho R Marak (3/9 in 4 overs) and Gulgul Sangma (2/20 in 8 overs). The fielders were on top of their game in the all-important knockout fixture too and Lensbirth played his part in two run-outs.
Only Angkit could manage 12, the highest score for SCA-A, as it was a complete bowlers’ day.
SCA-A were all out for 61 in 23.1 overs, which means that EGH will face Tura DCA in tomorrow’s final. The two sides had already met in the group stage where EGH were 12-run victors in a rain-affected game. Although some wet weather is predicted for tomorrow in Mendipathar, the timing of it will hopefully allow a full game.