Shillong, Dec 3: Meghalaya lost their first U-16 boys’ Vijay Merchant Trophy multi-day match to Sikkim by 29 runs but not without some impressive performances along the way.
The match, held in Cuttack, began on Friday with Meghalaya winning the toss and electing to field first.
Sikkim made 197 and 114 in their two innings, with Meghalaya ending with 104 and 178.
Gaurav Jyoti Thakuria (in picture) claimed 5/51 in 16.2 overs in Sikkim’s first innings, Benedict Jones Makdoh 2/24 in 9 and Apandanka N Marak 2/50 in 22 as the last five wickets fell for just 14 runs.
Meghalaya did not have an easy time with the bat and would have been dismissed for under 100 but for Heiyomiki Ryngkhlem’s 43. He was on his way to a deserved fifty but was run out a few runs short.
Meghalaya thus conceded a significant 93-run first innings lead to Sikkim but the bowlers came out fighting and they were able to knock over their opponents for a reasonably low score too. This time it was opening bowler Apandanka who turned in a superb spell to claim 6/35 in 10.1 overs, thereby giving him impressive match figures of 8/85. Thakuria netted 2/17 in 4 overs (match figures of 7/68) and Benedict 2/38 in 9.
Set a target of 208 to win, Meghalaya lost their top three batters cheaply but were able to rely on Dipayan Nandi, who batted wonderfully for his 95 from 194 deliveries, which included 13 fours. He found excellent support from Gaurav Narleng (37) in a partnership that yielded 70 for the fifth wicket.
However, Dipayan slowly ran out of partners until he became the last man to be dismissed, just five short of what would have been an excellent century.
Meghalaya will next play Nagaland from 6 December.