Shillong, Feb 4: Nishanta Chakraborty produced a sublime century as Meghalaya made 261/7 on the first day of their U-23 men’s Col CK Nayudu Trophy match against Nagaland at the MCA Ground here today.
Batting right throughout the day, Nishanta was not out at stumps on 119, which came off 218 deliveries and included 19 fours and two sixes. The knock was all the more impressive given that he made just 8 runs in the previous match against Arunachal Pradesh.
Nagaland won the toss and chose to bowl first in order to take advantage of any help in the pitch for the pacers early on. Mrityunjay Bharali’s stumps were shattered in the first over but Meghalaya otherwise survived the first 10 overs unscathed.
Kush Agarwal was then dismissed in the 12th over with his stumps similarly left in disarray.
Nishanta, though, remained at the crease and was the rock of Meghalaya’s innings. While he had been out for 8 and a duck against Arunachal, his third wicket partner today, Swastic Chettri, had had no trouble against the same opponents, who he made an unbeaten 190 against.
The pair were part of a 101-run stand, which ended when Swastic (55 from 100 balls, 11x4s) tried to sweep Neizekho (3/66 in 27 overs) and was bowled.
There were no partnerships of similar calibre as Nishanta’s subsequent partners got out for fairly low scores, though he might have to share some responsibility for the run out of No. 8 PM Santhosh, who was otherwise looking quite good in his knock of 24.
Nevertheless, the opener put that aside and reached his near-flawless century by running a two, letting out a roar as he thrust his bat into the air.
After a bright and sunny start, the clouds came over the ground in the afternoon and play was curtailed by bad light, with only 80 of the minimum 90 overs bowled. Meghalaya will be fairly pleased at how their batting went today but a total of 300-plus will be the minimum they will want when play resumes tomorrow.