Sachin Kumar starred with the bat for Meghalaya on the first day of their U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match against Karnataka here today but it was the visitors who were in command at stumps.
This is the first BCCI domestic cricket match to take place at the MCA Ground since the 2019-20 season and Kumar celebrated the momentous occasion with a fine 60 from 104 deliveries after Karnataka won the toss and chose to field first.
His innings consisted of 11 fours as he played a brilliant knock but there were not too many of his team mates who found as much success and Meghalaya were all out for 157. At stumps, Karnataka were 130/1, trailing by 27 runs.
The Meghalaya Cricket Association marked the occasion by felicitating the umpires and other officials overseeing the game. All present also observed a one minute’s silence in remembrance of and in solidarity with the victims of Mukroh before the start.
It was great for the Meghalaya boys to have their friends and family present, along with senior team players and others all gathered to give them support.
However, the hosts did not start well, as Dhanush Gowda R made Karnataka’s intentions clear when he bowled a perfect first delivery of the day to rattle the stumps of Mrityunjay Bharali.
Number 3 Sachin and Mrinal Das then made a neat 45 runs together before the latter holed out to fine leg by chasing a short ball. Three more wickets fell before lunch and Sachin was then dismissed early in the second session by top-edging a sweep shot into the gloves of the wicketkeeper Aashish Mahesh.
His wicket was taken by Mohsin Khan, Karnataka’s standout bowler; the spinner went on to finish with figures of 7/51. It looked likely that he would roll over Meghalaya within minutes after dismissing Sachin but Bharat Gurung had something else planned, with the Number 7 producing 28 not out. A few lusty blows by the tail-enders also added to Meghalaya’s total but Mohsin cleaned up and the hosts were all out for 157.
Karnataka had around an hour to bat before tea and they did so without losing a wicket. Vishal Onat, after making 63, fell in the third and final session of the day, caught by Bharali off the bowling of Gurung (1/21). Poised on 130/1, Karnataka will look to take a big enough lead tomorrow, with Meghalaya keen to avoid exactly that.