Shillong, Jan, 07: Meghalaya completely routed Arunachal Pradesh by an innings and 172 runs in their opening Ranji Trophy plate group match in Anand, Gujarat, today.

Dippu Ch Sangma nicked 5/54 as Arunachal were all out for 238 in 84.5 overs in their second innings. This was Dippu’s first five-wicket haul in BCCI domestic cricket and, with 4/18 in the first innings, he finished with impressive match figures of 9/72.

To recap, Arunachal, the hosts for this game, were skittled for a mere 94 in their first innings on Friday and Meghalaya then amassed 504/9 declared thanks to an historic 268 by Kishan Lyngdoh (the first Ranji double century by a Meghalaya domiciled player) and 132 by Ram Gurung on his first-class debut yesterday.

Although they improved in their second innings, Arunachal, who resumed play on 57/2, were nowhere near making Meghalaya bat again and thus lost the match by an innings with a day to spare.

“Congratulations to Dippu Sangma for his five-wicket haul,” Meghalaya Cricket Association President Nababrata Bhattacharjee said after the match. “And congratulations on the big win to Team MCA.”

There were a couple of decent partnerships this time round by the Arunachal players but they were only postponing the inevitable.

Dippu’s scalpswere key to the Meghalaya cause as he broke Arunachal’s best partnership (62 for the third wicket) and also removed the opposition’s top scorer (Techi Neri, who made 46).

The other wickets were taken by Md Nafees (2/23), Ram (1/18) and Arbin Singh (1/50).
Meghalaya now return home and will prepare for their huge second fixture against Hyderabad from 12 January at the MCA Ground here in Polo. Hyderabad also won their opener by a massive margin of an innings and 194 runs against Nagaland.

Although they find themselves in the plate group this season, Hyderabad will undoubtedly be highly motivated as they look to requalify for the elite groups but Meghalaya will also want to give them the strongest challenge possible.