Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Riding on an all-round team effort, Odisha registered an emphatic nine-wicket victory over a lower-ranked Sikkim in their opening match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Opting to bat first, Sikkim were restricted on 100 for the loss of six wickets in the stipulated 20 overs thanks to some tight and disciplined bowling by Odisha bowlers. 

Pankaj Rawat (34, 34b, 4x4) was the top scorer for Sikkim. Three other batters got good starts, but failed to convert them into substantial scores. Jayanta Behera (2/19) was the most successful bowler for Odisha with a couple of scalps. Mushtaq Beg (1/15) supported Behera well. Three Sikkim batsmen were guilty of misjudging runs and getting run outs in the process against some electric ground fielding.

In reply, Odisha romped home easily in 15.2 overs with the loss of only one wicket. Anshuman Rath (33 no, 39b, 3x6) and Subhranshu Senapati (33 no, 21b, 1x4, 2x6) ensured the convincing victory. Aasirwad Swain (30, 32b, 3x4) was the only batsman to get out for the winning team.