Meghalaya trounced Jammu and Kashmir by eight wickets to win their opening fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament in Mohali today.
The match was reduced to just nine overs a side due to bad weather but the toss went Meghalaya’s way and they opted to field first.
Chasing 82 to win, Meghalaya lost Raj Biswa for a duck and Chirag Khurana for 2. However, in came the formidable Punit Singh Bisht, a guest professional who has been with Meghalaya ever since the state played its first season of BCCI domestic cricket in 2018-19.
Bisht smacked an unbeaten 51 off just 23 deliveries, thanks to six fours and a couple of sixes over long-on, in partnership with Lerry Sangma, who batted terrifically for a rapid 23 not out from 13 deliveries (2x4s, 1×6).
Thanks to this pair and their unbroken 59-run stand, Meghalaya came through with nine deliveries to spare.
Earlier, J&K went hard with the bat and managed nine an over to post 81/3, with a wicket each claimed by guest professional Khurana (1/9), Dippu Ch Sangma (1/12) and Abhishek Kumar (1/15).
Meghalaya have managed to retain Bisht and Khurana for this season, with the new guest professional being Rajesh Bishnoi, a 35-year-old middle order batter who has played domestic cricket for Rajasthan up until now. He had also played three Indian Premier League matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore back in 2009. Bishnoi replaces DB Ravi Teja, who ended his wonderful professional career with Meghalaya at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Meghalaya’s next match will see them take on Haryana tomorrow. Haryana squeaked to a 1 run victory against Services today.