Cuttack: A career-best 94 by opening batsman Bikash Pati and his 132-run partnership for the fifth-wicket skipper with Biplab Samantaray enabled hosts Odisha take 24-run first innings lead with five wickets in hand on the second day of their Group-A Ranji match against Jharkhand at DRIEMS Cricket Stadium in Tangi, 20kms from here today.
In reply to Jharkhand’s modest first-innings total of 221, Odisha were 245 for five at stumps with Biplab going strong on 64 (143b, 10×4, 1×6), his sixth first-class fifty, and Abhilash Mallick giving him company on three.
Twenty-eight-year-old Bikash, who returned to Ranji team after a gap of one year, missed his maiden first-class ton when he was caught by opposition skipper Shahbaz Nadeem off speedster Varun Aaron shortly before the close of the day’s play. His 251-ball patient knock, studded with 14 boundaries, was his sixth first-class half-century and he completed 1,000 runs in the process.
Earleir resuming at 37 for one, the home team suffered a jolt in the very first ball of the day as all-rounder Deepak Behera was castled by Shivshankar Rao for a duck. Bikash and in-form Niranjan Behera steadied the innings, putting on 62 runs for the third wicket before the latter was caught behind off Ajay Yadav for 39. But the solid partnership between Bikash and Biplab guided Odisha to a position of strength.
Odisha coach Debasis Mohanty appreciated the performance of Bikash and Biplab but ruled out a declaration of the innings tomorrow. “Bikash displayed very good application but was unlucky to miss out on his maiden century. Though we have taken a slender lead, there is a long way to go and we are not thinking about a declaration,’’ he said.
Earlier on the opening day, a five-wicket haul by swing bowler Basant Mohanty helped Odisha dismiss Jharkhand for 221. Put into bat, 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 eacy 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 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 c Nadeem b Aaron 94, Deepak Behera b S Rao 0, Niranjan Behera c Thaker b Yadav 39, Govind Poddar b Yadav 5, Biplab Samantaray (batting) 64, Abhilash Mallick (batting) 3; Extras (b-11, lb-7, w-1) 19
Total (5 wkts; 99 overs) 245
Fall of wicket: 1-35, 2-37, 3-99, 4-105, 5-237
Bowling: Varun Aaron 19-5-53-1, Shivshankar Rao 23-7-56-1, Ajay Yadav 24-7-48-3, Shahbaz Nadeem 26-10-43-0, Bhavin Thakkar 5-1-17-0, Shasheem Rathour 1-0-9-0, Ishank Jaggi 1-0-1-0