Cuttack: Rajesh Dhuper’s impressive knock of 97 and good batting performance all around ensured three points for Team Odisha against a strong Tamil Nadu side at DRIEMS Ground at Tangi in Cuttack. In reply to Tamil Nadu’s first innings score of 530/8, Odisha managed to score 533/9 at the end of the match.
Winning the toss and batting first, Tamil Nadu started off on a poor note when captain Abhinav Mukund was run out after scoring 12. International opener Murali Vijay and wicket-keeper N Jagadeesan put up a fantastic show subsequently by adding 145 runs for the second wicket. Jagadeesan scored 88 while Murali Vijay went on to score 140 off 273 balls. Vijay Shankar (100) and Baba Aparajith (109*) also scored hundreds for the visitors. Tamil Nadu declared their innings with a score of 530/8. For Odisha, Suryakanta Pradhan picked up three wickets while Govinda Poddar and Biplab Samantaray pocketed two apiece.
In reply to the mammoth first innings total, the hosts were very watchful from the beginning of their innings. Young Sandeep Pattnaik (66) and experienced Natraj Behera (91) added 128 for the opening wicket. Apart from Subhranshu Senapati, all batsmen in the middle and lower order of the team got starts. Biplab Samantaray, Shantanu Mishra, Alok Sahoo and Suryakanta Pradhan got good scores of 50, 71, 36 and 43, respectively. Suryakanta’s cameo of 43 runs came only in 39 balls ensuring an increase in the run-rate. Making a comeback, wicket-keeper Rajesh Dhuper scored his maiden fifty in Ranji Trophy and took Odisha to a comfortable position before getting out unfortunately for 97. Basant Mohanty and Dhiraj Singh showed patience in the lower order and remained unbeaten as Odisha crossed the 530 mark.
Speaking to odishatv.in, Odisha skipper Govinda Poddar said, “These three points are a morale booster for our team. Rajesh played really well and got good support from Alok Sahoo, Suryakanta Pradhan and Basant Mohanty in the lower order. The whole team contributed to get points against Tamil Nadu and I am satisfied with this good show. In the upcoming matches we will look forward to play good cricket and try to grab full points.”
With five points from four games, Odisha is at sixth position in the Group C points table. In the remaining two matches of this Ranji season, Team Odisha will meet Baroda and Madhya Pradesh. Odisha’s next game against Baroda will be played in Vadodra from November 17.