On a bright sunny morning in Mumbai, Meghalaya won the toss and rather surprisingly, opted to field first. However, the Bengal side didn’t mind the invitation to have first use of a placid-looking wicket.
The Abhimanyu Easwaran-led outfit rattled its way to 207 with each of their batsmen finding their grove. Shreevats Goswami and Vivek Singh got the team off to an ideal start before the latter carried on to notch up a breezy half-century. He eventually departed after having scored 57 runs off 39 balls.
Thereafter, Easwaran and Manoj Tiwary stitched together a wonderful partnership wherein both mixed caution and aggression superbly. The pair was content to wait for the loose ball while they kept the scoreboard ticking with constant singles and doubles.
Though Tiwary fell short of a fifty, the Bengal skipper piled on 61 runs off 32 balls, an innings which was laced with some scintillating hits over the fence.
And, while Abhay Negi returned with commendable figures of 4-0-31-2, his efforts went in vain as the other Meghalaya bowlers were unable to contain a talented Bengal batting line-up.
In reply, Meghalaya were jolted early by speedster Ishan Porel as they lost both their openers in quick succession. And, though there was decent rear-guard action by Sanjay Yadav and Mark Ingty through the middle and end overs, it acted as mere consolation rather than a springboard for an improbable run-chase.
Ultimately, Meghalaya ended up with 153 for 4 in their stipulated 20 overs, thereby falling 54 runs short of the enormous run mountain Bengal had set in front of them.
For Bengal, Porel bagged a couple of wickets whereas the other batsmen were dismissed by Arnab Nandi.Published 11 Nov 2019, 13:40 IST