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Meghalaya in commanding position

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Shillong, Dec 27: In a thrilling display of bowling prowess, Apandanka Marak exhibited his talent by dismissing six Nagaland batters on the opening day of Meghalaya’s plate group semifinal match in the U-16 Boys’ Vijay Merchant Trophy held in Jamshedpur on Wednesday.
On a day that favored bowlers, Meghalaya, opting to bat first after winning the toss, faced an early setback, getting dismissed for 123. However, they quickly turned the tables by rolling over Nagaland for 83. At stumps, Meghalaya, having reached 22 without loss, secured an overall lead of 62 runs.
Apandanka, ranking third in the nationwide wicket-taking list prior to this match, further solidified his position by claiming an impressive 6/40 in 12 overs on Wednesday.
His victims included the top three batters of Nagaland. Aashish Kumar Lohar (2/6 in 3 overs) and Benedict Jones Makdoh (2/16 in 7) also contributed as wicket-takers.
Despite the disappointment of being dismissed for a modest 123 in their first innings, Meghalaya found some solace as Lohar emerged as the top-scorer with 34 in the middle order. Gaurav Narleng (25) and Rudra Singh Rathore (21) also contributed, but the team fell short of building a substantial total.
In their second innings, Meghalaya, with Kristwal S Marak (10 not out) and Dipayan Nandi (5 not out) at the crease, finished the day facing 14 uncomfortable overs after Rathore (3) retired hurt.
This encounter marks the second meeting between the two teams this season, with their previous round-robin match ending in a draw. With a total of 20 wickets falling on the first day, the prospect of a clear winner in this semifinal seems highly likely.
As the U-16 Boys’ Vijay Merchant Trophy semifinal between Meghalaya and Nagaland unfolds, the intense competition witnessed on the first day promises an exciting continuation. With Apandanka Marak’s exceptional bowling performance setting the stage, Meghalaya holds a significant lead, leaving the outcome of the match hanging in the balance.
The resilience displayed by both teams suggests that the forthcoming days will be filled with gripping cricketing action, determining which side will emerge victorious and advance to the next stage of this prestigious tournament. Cricket enthusiasts await eagerly for the unfolding drama that is sure to captivate the cricketing fraternity.

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