Cuttack: A five-wicket haul by swing bowler Basant Mohanty helped Odisha dismiss Jharkhand for 221 on the opening day of their four-day Group-A Ranji match at DRIEMS Cricket Stadium in Tangi, 20 kms from here today. In reply, Odisha were 37 for one at stumps with opener Bikash Pati batting on 14 and night watchman Deepak Behera yet to open his account.
Put into bat on a pitch having fair amout of grass and under cloud cover, Jharkhand got off to a nightmarish start, losing two wickets in the first over of the innings. They were able to compile a decent total thanks to a half-century each by in-form Saurabh Tiwary and Bhavik Thaker and a ripid-fire 44 (42b, 6×4, 1×6) by Varun Aaron.
Former India ODI batsman Tiwary’s 67 (96b, 10×4) was his 11th first class fifty and he helped his team overcome the early damage by stitching together 69 runs for the third wicket partnership with Rameez Nemat (36) and then adding 50 runs for the fifth-wicket stand with Thaker.
Former Gujarat batsman Thaker, who remained unbeaten on 61 (131b, 8×4), his 21st first-class half-century, rescued Jharkhand from another crisis (143 for seven) by putting on 73 runs for the eighth-wicket alliance with Aaron.
Basant Mohanty lived upto his reputation as the spearhead of Odisha’s pace attack, bagging five wickets for 60 runs. This was his second successive five-wicket haul and ninth in the first-class career. Fellow medium-pacer Alok Sahoo made a successful return to the Ranji team, picking up three wickets for 34.
Odisha would have been better placed had they not lost opener Girija Rout in the penultimate over of the day. Rout was caught behind by debutant Pappu Singh while driving an Ajay Yadav delivery away from his body.
Odisha made three changes in the team, replacing Natraj Behera, Alok Mangaraj and Dhiraj Singh with Bikash Pati, Alok Sahoo and Santosh Jena. Opening batsman Shasheem Rathour made disappointing debut for Jharkhand, getting out for a duck.
JHARKHAND (1st innings): S Rathour c S Sahoo b Mohanty 0, R Nemat c N Behera b Mohanty 36, B Thakkar c Samantaray b Mohanty 0, S Tiwary c S Jena b Samantaray 67, I Jaggi b Jena 0, Bhavik Thaker (not out) 61, S Nadeem c Samantaray b Mohanty 5, P Singh c S Sahoo b A Sahoo 3, V Aaron c Mohanty b A Sahoo 44, Shivshankar Rao c N Behera b A Sahoo 0, Ajay Yadav b Mohanty 0; Extras (lb-1, w-1) 2
Total (all out; 67.4 overs) 221
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-69, 4-74, 5-124, 6-129, 7-143, 8-216, 9-216
Bowling: Basant Mohanty 20.4-4-60-5, Alok Sahoo 10-1-34-3, Deepak Behera 14-1-58-0, Biplab Samantaray 15-4-34-1, Santosh Jena 8-1-34-1.
ODISHA (1st innings): Girija Rout c P Singh b Yadav 21, Bikash Pati (batting) 14, Deepak Behera (batting) 0; Extras (b-2) 2
Total (1 wkt; 13 overs) 37
Fall of wicket: 1-35
Bowling: V Aaron 5-2-10-0, S Rao 3-0-17-0, A Yadav 3-1-6-1, S Nadeem 2-1-2-0