Shillong, Feb, 04: A remarkable turnaround on day three saw Meghalaya come from conceding a first innings lead to beating Sikkim by six wickets in their Ranji Trophy plate group match at Rangpo, Sikkim, today.
Aryan Borah led the way with the best figures of his young career. He took an awesome 8/36 to dismiss Sikkim for a mere 80 in their second innings and Meghalaya polished off the chase thanks to a half-century by captain Kishan Lyngdoh (69).
It was the hosts, though, who held the upper hand at the start of play. To recap, Sikkim had posted 284 all out in their first innings and then bundled out Meghalaya for 191.
At stumps yesterday, Sikkim were 55/4, which was by no means a good position but they would not have expected to lose their remaining six wickets for just 25 runs this morning.
But that is exactly what happened as the left-arm orthodox Aryan, playing only his fifth first-class match, bamboozled the opposition batters, four of whom he bowled through the gate. With his four wickets from the first innings, the 23-year-old who was only drafted in the Ranji squad for this match, ended with match figures of 12/129 and he was subsequently named Player of the Match.
However, with a 93-run first innings lead, Sikkim set a target of 174 to win for Meghalaya and they were not going to make the chase easy on their home turf.
Lee Yong Lepcha, who dismissed five Meghalaya batters in their first outing, bagged another two scalps today, while Ankur removed Raj Biswa, who had made 85 in the first innings, for 22.
The visitors were thus poised on 54/3 when Kishan and Jaskirat Singh Sacheva came together at the crease. Together they made 108 for the fourth wicket, ensuring that Meghalaya were within touching distance of the target with plenty of wickets still in hand.
Sadly for Kishan, he was not able to see the innings through to victory as he was out for 69 (119 deliveries, 7x4s), but Jaskirat (44 not out, 81 balls, 3x4s) was there at the end and was given effective company by Akash Kumar Choudhury (10 not out) as Meghalaya chased down the target in 50.2 overs.
With three victories and two defeats in the round robin stage, Meghalaya qualified for the semifinals as the second-placed team in the plate group. Both semi finals will take place from 9 February and details regarding the venue and Meghalaya’s opponents will be intimated in due course.