Cuttack: Riding on a superb 87 not out from Bhargav Merai, Gujarat put themselves in command in their Ranji Trophy cricket match against Odisha by reaching 255 for four in their first innings on the second day here on Monday.
After bundling out Odisha for 225 in the morning, Gujarat did not start their first innings too well as their openers Samit Gohel (14) and P K Panchal (25) were dismissed but Merai stood solid to take his side to a strong position.
Merai got support from his captain Parthiv Patel (44) and the duo stitched 92 runs for the third wicket in 27.2 overs.
Merai shared another 58 runs for the unbroken four wicket stand with Akshar Patel (31 not out) at the draw of stumps.
Merai hit 13 fours in his 212-ball innings.
Gujarat have now taken a 30-run first innings lead and they are now in a strong position to dictate terms on the home side.
For Odisha, Biplab Samantray took two Gujarat wickets for 42 runs while Suryakant Pradhan and Deepak Behera got a wicket apiece.
Earlier, Rush Kalaria scalped one more Odisha wicket in the morning after his five-wicket haul yesterday. The home side could add just six runs after resuming at overnight score of 219 for eight. Kalaria ended with brilliant figures of six wickets for 59 runs.
Odisha batted just 3.2 overs today to concede the initiative to Gujarat.
Odisha 1st Innings: 225 all out in 93.2 overs (Natraj Behera 75; Rush Kalaria 6/59).
Gujarat 1st Innings: 255 for 4 in 83 overs (Bhargav 87 not out, Biplab Samantray 2/42).