Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 9:
Hosts Odisha registered a thrilling win over Saurashtra beating them by two wickets on the pulsating final day of its delicately poised Group B Ranji Trophy match at Barabati Stadium here today.
With today’s win, the third in the league stage this season, Odisha have booked a spot for the elite stage of the premier domestic torunament.
Resuming the chase for 283 on the fourth and final day, Odisha lost eight wickets before getting home. They held their nerves and batted through the day to achieve the target.
The match was evenly poised and could have swung either way when Govind Podder and Anurag Sarangi went out to bat on the fourth day with the score reading 32 for 2. Openers Girija Rout and Paresh Patel were dismissed late on the third day.
Podder (64) and Sarangi (83) steadied the Odisha ship as they saw the new ball through and negotiated the Saurashtra pacers well.
The seesaw battle saw some nervous moments for Odisha too as the home team lost wickets at frequent intervals. However, Biplab Samantray (19), Basant Mohanty (10 not out) and Deepak Behera (21 not out) put up valuable partnership to lead the team to victory.
Earlier, Odisha bowled Saurashtra out for a meagre 152 in their second innings putting themselves on a commanding position.
During the current Ranji Trophy season, Odisha defeated Haryana in Rohtak and Punjab in Mohali. However, they ended up on the losing side after a lacklustre performance against Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan while the matches against Vidarbha and Maharashtra ended without results.
Saurashtra 218 and 153
Odisha 88 and 283 for 8