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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha rode on cameos by Anshuman Rath (29, 37b, 2x4) and Govinda Poddar (24, 19b, 3x4) to edge out Goa by four wickets to pull up a thrilling win in their first Elite Group-A match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament at Lucknow on Thursday.

Opting to field first, Odisha bowlers led by Jayanta Behera (3/14) and Bikash Rout (3/27) restricted Goa on 104 for the loss of eight wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Ashis Rai (2/20) also supported both Behera and Rout well.

Barring Shubham Ranjane (32, 32b, 2x4, 1x6), no other batsmen could impress with the bat. Odisha bowlers took wickets in regular intervals and bowled a tight line and length to keep the opposition batsmen under huge pressure throughout their innings.

In reply, chasing a winning target of 105, Odisha were into early trouble as skipper Rajesh Dhuper (8, 12b, 1x4) and batting mainstay Subhransu Senapati (3, 15b) made their way back to the pavillion early. 

However, Rath steadied the ship with some useful partnerships with Poddar, Abhishek Yadav (18, 12b, 2x4, 1x6) and Abhishek Raut (12, 16b, 1x4). 

Odisha had some hiccups when they lost wickets in clusters during the last part of the chase. However, they managed to win the contest with a ball to spare and four wickets in hands.

Lakshay Garg (2/11) was the peak of the bowlers for Goa while Amit Yadav (1/12), Shrikant Wagh (1/27), Shubham Ranjane (1/19) and Amulya Pandrekar (1/20) chipped in with a wicket each.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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