Seventeen overs, 10 ducks, and a team total of 2 - Nagaland's innings in the ongoing BCCI Women's Under-19 One-Day League and Knockout Tournament makes for one of the more incredible scorecards in cricket as far as batting collapses go. Their opponents, Kerala Under-19s, needed all of one legal delivery to finish off the win.
Even more remarkable, perhaps, was the manner of Nagaland's collapse. The two runs they garnered - one off the bat of opening batsman Menka and another in the form a wide - were both scored before the sixth over, as they effectively went from 2 for 0 to 2 all out in just 11.4 overs. Four of the five Kerala U-19 bowlers did not concede a run in the match, with Aleena Surendran being the only one to break that pattern.
Low scores and odd bowling stats have been a frequent occurrence in the tournament, including in the regional qualifying stages. Nagaland had made it to the 12-team Super League stage after finishing second in the preceding Under-19 North-East Championship. In that tournament, too, a match they featured in, against Manipur, saw 136 wides being bowled. Bihar, the other side to qualify for the Super League, were skittled out for 21 runs by Bengal in a match in Jamshedpur on Friday. Before Friday, the lowest total in the tournament was 17 by Meghalaya, incidentally, against Nagaland.
This was the first time that Nagaland and five other north-eastern states of India- Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim - were cleared to participate in the BCCI's Under-19 women's tournament along with Bihar, through the addition of a new tournament specifically for the north-eastern region and Bihar. Mizoram, however, did not field a team in the regional stage due to paperwork issues regarding their affiliation.