Samantray hits unbeaten half ton in Odisha’s 223/5

Pune: Biplab Samantray struck a gutsy, unbeaten half century to guide Odisha to a respectable 223 for five on day one of their opening Group B Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra here on Sunday.

Opting to bat first, Odisha ended the first day with Samantray batting on a 126-ball 64, and Halhadar Das was giving him company on 28.

Opener Natraj Behera hit a cautious 112-ball 66 before Samantray steadied the ship.

Shrikant Mundhe and Domnic Joseph had two wickets each on the first day, while there was one Akshay Darekar at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Earlier, after Abhilash Mallick decided to bat, Behera along with Girija Rout (17) put on 44 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed by Mundhe.

Niranjan Behera (23) got the start but could not make it count, while Anurag Sarangi made 10.

Behera, who was looking good for a big one, was dismissed by Joseph while skipper Mallick fell for just one run.

It was around this time that Samantray and Das got together to add 78 runs for the sixth wicket, helping the visitors to safety with their sensible batting.

Brief scores:

Odisha: 223/5 in 90 overs (Biplab Samantray 64 not out, Natraj Behera 66; Domnic Joseph 2/29).