Shillong(Meghalaya), Feb 8: Meghalaya will take on Mizoram in the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy plate group from tomorrow, with the match set to take place in Mangaldai, Assam.
Meghalaya finished the round robin stage in second position – behind Hyderabad – while Mizoram were third.
In all, Meghalaya won three matches and lost the other two – to Hyderabad and Mizoram, as it happens.
Mizoram were quite convincing victors, winning the meeting by 191 runs at their ‘home’ ground of Anand, Gujarat. However, both sides will know that that will count for little as the two meet in the crucial playoff fixture where Meghalaya will technically be hosts; Shillong is not available to host this match as it will be the venue of a U-23 men’s Col CK Nayudu Trophy semifinal match, which will begin on Sunday.
The Senior Men’s Selection Committee of the Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) has selected 15 players and standbys to represent the state in the Ranji knockout fixture.
The team will continue to be led by Kishan Lyngdoh, who is sixth overall nationwide this season by runs scored – 572 in eight innings, including one century and three fifties. Akash Kumar Choudhury, who missed the first two matches of the season as he was returning from injury, made up for lost time by bagging 23 wickets in three matches, taking him to 13th in the national standings.
He has been included in the semifinal squad and there is also a place for Aryan Borah, who bowled sensationally last time around against Sikkim to take 12 wickets in his first Ranji appearance this season.
This season, in a historic move, the MCA has decided to rely only on state-domiciled players for the tournament. This decision has been justified with the state finishing the group stage in second place but all the players will be hungry to see the journey continue and Meghalaya progress to the final.