Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha scripted a resounding victory of 135 runs against a lower-ranked Nagaland in a match of Vijay Hazare trophy cricket tournament at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

Put into bat first, Odisha were bundled out for 224 in 48.3 overs. Wicket-keeper batsman Rajesh Dhuper (79, 114b, 5x4) was the highest scorer for the team. Skipper Abhishek Raut (64, 67b, 5x4, 2x6) also played an attacking knock. However, he ran himself out in the process of getting quick runs. 

Following the departure of both Dhuper and Raut, other Odisha lower-order batters lacked application and the team could not complete even 50 overs. Debabrata Pradhan (28, 34b, 3x4) played a cameo during the last part of the innings to give a semblance of respectability to Odisha's score. Akash Singh (5/29) was the best bowler for the opposition.

However, the score eventually proved to be a mountain to be climbed for Nagaland. They could manage to score only 89 runs and were bowled out in 35.5 overs. Opener Joshua Ozukum (30, 52b, 3x4) was the only batsman to give some resistance to the rampaging Odisha bowlers. Tarani Sa (5/19) turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief for Odisha.

Notably, Odisha had lost against Uttarakhand in their last match of the tournament.

Brief scores: Odisha 224 (Rajesh Dhuper 79, Abhishek Raut 64; Akash Singh (5/29) beat Nagaland 89 (Joshua Ozukum 30; Tarani Sa 5/19) by 135 runs.