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Ranji Trophy: Manipur peg Meghalaya back on first day

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Shillong, Jan 10: Meghalaya were dismissed for just 157 on the first day of their Ranji Trophy plate group match against Manipur at the MCA Ground here on Tuesday.

In reply, Manipur were 81/4 when bad light forced an early end to the day’s play, trailing by 76.

Meghalaya’s Kishan Lyngdoh batting

Manipur won the toss and chose to field first but Meghalaya got off to a fairly good start, with Kishan Lyngdoh making 33 and Swarajeet Das 24.

However, there were a few edges and dropped catches that benefited the hosts and things took a turn for the worse after guest professional and captain Punit Bisht (24) nicked one behind off the very first ball following the lunch break. He fell to the left-arm spin of Kishan Singha, who was Manipur’s top bowler of the day with figures of 6/18.

Manipur’s Kishan Singha (right) celebrates taking his first wicket of the day

Bisht was Singha’s first victim of the day and Sanvert Kurkalang was the second, trapped lbw for 16. Lerry Sangma was the next to go, with a rash shot leading to him being caught for a duck, while Tarique Siddique (3) survived one run out attempt but could not avoid the second, with Singha whipping off the bails following a throw by Karnajit Yumnam.

Even the redoubtable guest professional Rajesh Bishnoi could not help falling to Singha for just 10 while Dippu Ch Sangma weathered some short pitched bowling from Rex Rajkumar and hit four fours in the process, only to be the last man out, bowled by the spinner for 19.

Meghalaya’s last seven wickets fell for just 53 runs but Dippu’s boundaries at least got the team over 150.

The visitors had to bat for one session but were under severe pressure from the beginning, with three of the top four batters out for ducks.

Kishan took a blinding catch off only the third delivery of the innings, which was bowled by Abhishek Kumar (1/17). And, given Singha’s success for Manipur, it was perhaps no surprise that Meghalaya started at the other end with their own left-arm spinner, with Bishnoi claiming the other two.

With Manipur in trouble on 13/3, Langlonyamba M (48) and Ronald Longjam (17 not out) came together to put on 56 for the fourth wicket, which gave their team a stronger footing. Bishnoi (3/24) managed to break that partnership by having Langlonyamba caught but Manipur survived a further 2.4 overs to reach 81/4 by stumps.

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