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Ranji Trophy: Odisha struggle to avert innings defeat

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OST Sports Bureau
Mumbai, Dec 16:

Despite a sparkling century by Natraj Behera, Odisha were at the receiving end against hosts Mumbai as they fought hard to avert an innings defeat on the third day of Ranji Trophy Group-A match at Wankhede stadium here on Monday.

The visitors, at close, were 115 for 2 still needing 130 runs to make Mumbai bat again stop them from taking points for an outright win.

Natarj Behera
Natraj Behera : A ton in vain ?

Resuming the score at 79 for 3, Odisha’s poor batting show continued as they failed to negotiate the Mumbai bowlers.

However, Behera went on to score a power-packed innings of 130 laced with 24 boundaries and two sixes.

Though captain Biplab Samantray and Abhilash Mallick played comfortably, they could not stay for long as the duo fell for 39 and 33 respectively.

After the visitors were all out for 256, Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer enforced follow-on.

In their second innings, Odisha began confidently with openers Gobind Poddar and Girija Rout started playing with ease.

However, the duo latter fell to the 42-year-old debutant spinner Pravin Tambe.

With the score reading at 90 for 2, centurion Natraj Behera took charge and ensured no further loss with his partner Niranjan Behera at the close of play.