Pankaj Singh scalps seven as Puducherry takes lead over Mizoram

Mizoram’s decision to bat backfired as Fabid Ahmed (2-22) dismissed openers Akhil Rajput (13) and Lalhruaizela (4) and Pankaj ran through the middle-order in no time.

Pankaj Singh scalped a 7-21 to skittle out Mizoram for a paltry 92. (FILE IMAGE)   -  R. V. Moorthy

Pankaj Singh may have shifted to the Ranji Trophy Plate group from the Elite division, but the seasoned pacer is back to business for his new team, Puducherry.

Pankaj, who captained Rajasthan until last year, scalped a 7-21 to skittle out Mizoram for a paltry 92. In its first innings, Puducherry was at 163-3 at stumps.

Mizoram’s decision to bat backfired as Fabid Ahmed (2-22) dismissed openers Akhil Rajput (13) and Lalhruaizela (4) and Pankaj ran through the middle-order in no time.

Pankaj opened the account with key wicket of Taruwar Kohli (4) on way to his 27th first-class five wicket haul.

"It was a great feeling to be bagging seven wickets," Pankaj said.

READ: IPL retention and 4/8 – Avesh explodes at the right time

Interestingly, Mizoram becomes the 17th team against which the Pankaj took a five-wicket haul in the  Ranji Trophy. She outclassed Sunil Joshi's record of 16.

In another match, left-arm spinner Aditya Singhania (4-42) claimed four wickets to help Meghalaya bundle out Manipur for 211. Meghalaya ended day one proceedings with 82-1, trailing Manipur by 129 runs, with opener Raj Biswa remaining unbeaten on 47 at the Jadavpur University Second Campus ground in Kolkata.

Opting to field, Meghalaya made early inroads, dismissing Lakhan Rawat (8) and Priyojit K (5) cheaply to reduce Manipur to 23-2 inside seven overs.

But opener Prafullomani Singh steadied the innings in a patient 64 from 108 balls and added 83 runs for the third wicket with skipper Yashpal Singh (33). 

Fresh from his five-for against Nagaland, Singhania cleaned up Prafullomoni to give the breakthrough.

Chengkam Sangma (2-25) claimed two including the last match centurion Yashpal (33) to keep the pressure on Manipur who eventually folded in 64.1 overs at the stroke of tea break.

In reply, Manipur’s Thokchom Singh trapped Meghalaya opener Tarique Siddique early for four, but Biswa and skipper Jason Lamare (18 batting) put on an unbeaten 59 runs to see through the day.

Summarised Scores

In Kolkata: Manipur 211; 64.1 overs (Prafullomani Singh 64, Yashpal Singh 33; Aditya Singhania 4/42, Gurinder Singh 3/52). Meghalaya 82/1; 25 overs (Raj Biswa 47 batting; Thokchom Singh 1/26). 

In Puducherry: Mizoram 92; 54.4 overs (Michael Lalremkima 25; Pankaj Singh 7/21). Puducherry 163/3; 33 overs (Vikneshwaran Marimuthu 79 batting).

In Patna: Bihar 288; 90.5 overs (Ashutosh Aman 89, Vivek Kumar 72; Ishwar Chaudhary 6/78, Bipul Sharma 3/83) vs Sikkim. 

In Goalpara: Arunachal Pradesh 105; 46 overs (Kshitiz Sharma 57; Mayank Mishra 4/23, Sunny Rana 3/30). Uttarakhand 176/3; 47 overs (Kartik Joshi 99 batting, Vaibhav Panwar 59).