Odisha edges out Railways in Vijay Hazare Trophy opener

Bhubaneswar/Alur (Karnataka): Skipper Govinda Poddar’s knock of 64 runs helped Odisha to beat Railways by two wickets in the Group A encounter of Vijay Hazare one-day cricket tournament at Alur in Karnataka.

Odisha chased down the target of 213 runs in 47 overs in a nail-biting opening game to collect four crucial points.

Odisha team was under some pressure after losing openers Anurag Sarangi (19) and Ranjit Singh (21) with only 45 runs on board. Experienced batsmen Govinda Poddar and Biplab Samantaray then came together and added 105 runs to take Odisha to a safer position. Govinda’s 59-ball knock included seven fours and two hits over the rope while Biplab notched up for 38 from 51 balls.

Odisha again looked in some trouble with 187/8 but all-rounder Abhishek Raut’s 37-ball 27 helped the team chase down the total with Suryakanta Pradhan (11) remaining not-out at the other end.

Manjeet Singh picked up five wickets for the Railways and troubled Odisha batsmen during the run-chase.

Earlier in the game, Odisha bowlers vindicated their captain’s decision to bowl first by not allowing Railways batsmen to score runs at a brisk pace and picking up wickets at regular intervals. Arindam Ghosh top-scored for Railways with 48 while Anureet Singh got out for 41 and Jharsuguda-born Ankit Yadav remained unbeaten at 32 from 36 balls.

For Odisha, Abhishek Raut and Suryakanta Pradhan scalped three and two wickets, respectively while Biplab Samantaray, Deepak Behera and Prayas Singh Thakur claimed one wicket apiece to bowl Railways out for 212 in 47.4 overs.
In its next game of the tournament, Odisha will meet Punjab tomorrow at Alur .