Ranji Trophy – 2019-20 : Pondicherry Vs Meghalaya (Mangaldai Sport Association Stadium)
Mangaldai, 03-06 Jan’20:
Any player coming to the centre with the bat experienced the worst ever pitch; with army of devils terrorising with their fearsome dance. With the first day’s play being totally washed out and only three days left for the match, the second day’s play also started with little delay and having won the toss, Meghalaya was put into bat first.
As the devils were dancing at the pitch, the umpires took their position and called “Play”, instantaneously the wickets started tumbling like mudslide from the top of Himalayas to the valley at the bottom. From the second over of the match the procession started with the fall of opener Nongkhlaw for naught and the first innings of Meghalaya folded for 65 all out. Sagar Udeshi returned with figures of 5 for 10 off 13 overs and Vinay Kumar took 3 for 17.
In reply to Meghalaya’s 65, Pondicherry started well; one should say compared to the opponent’s innings, as the first opening partnership realised 29 runs when Anand Subramanian was out for 21. But, after that it was the same fate of Meghalaya team as the Pondicherry batsmen felt the devils’ presence and was all out for 80, gaining a vital lead of 15 runs. Meghalaya bowler Sanjay returned with figures of 8 for 31.
More devils join the party
With the fall of 20 wickets on the second day (first day being washed out), Meghalaya started their second innings to find themselves in more trouble, but for the lone scorer Punit Bisht; who scored 28, and were all out for 63. Vinay Kumar retuned with yet another 5 wicket haul to take his match tally to 8 wickets, while Ashith took 4 for 5 off 5 overs.
Smallest target, but the toughest one
With only 49 runs needed for a win and a full day’s play left, Pondicherry started the second innings in contrast to the first innings; losing 3 wickets with just 7 runs on the board, including the veteran batsman Paras Dogra out for 3. However, the all-rounder Vinay Kumar joined K.B. Arun Karthick to take the score to 29 when the former was out for 13. With the fall of K.B.Arun Karthick for 13 and the score reading 35 for 5, the tension gripped the Pondicherry camp as the pitch was totally unplayable. But, with the gutsy hit by S.Karthik and Sagar Trivedi, who were unbeaten on 7 each, Pondicherry huffed and puffed to win by 5 wickets and gained 6 points to remain on top of the table.
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