Ranji Trophy: Odisha seals the win in two days

On a bizarre day that saw 21 wickets tumble, Odisha secured a memorable win over Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy. The Group B match was over with two full days to spare at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.

Deepak Behera scored 58 and took three wickets for Odisha.   -  PTI

On a bizarre day that saw 21 wickets tumble, Odisha secured a memorable win over Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy. The Group B match was over with two full days to spare at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.

Odisha won by an innings and 118 runs and moved into the third place in its group. With 22 points, it suddenly finds itself unexpectedly in contention for a place in the quarterfinals (the top three will advance). Maharashtra is fourth in the group, with 21 points.

> Scorecard

Odisha surprised one and all by overcoming a formidable Maharashtra inside two days. The second day had begun with Odisha on 311 for nine. The innings ended in the third over of the morning, with veteran seamer Anupam Sanklecha completing his fifth five-wicket haul of the season.

Then, the drama unfolded on this cold, overcast, wintry morning. Odisha’s pacemen exploited the ideal conditions for swing bowling. Suryakant Pradhan was particularly dangerous with his balls that moved away.

He picked up four wickets; Basant Mohanty and Deepak Behera too bowled well to claim three wickets each. The Maharashtra first innings was over within a session. Sanklecha, who scored 18 coming in at No. 9, was the top scorer in a total of 94.

Maharashtra fared hardly any better in the second innings; it was all out for 107. If the first innings lasted 26 overs, the second was over in 36.4. The Maharashtra batsmen were also undone by the uneven bounce of the wicket, with some balls keeping rather low.

Pradhan took three wickets in the second innings to finish with a match haul of seven for 70. Fourth seamer Bipal Samantray claimed four wickets and was named Man-of-the-Match; it was his 89 in the Odisha innings that set up the victory.

“His innings made all the difference,” Odisha’s coach Debasis Mohanty said. “Then our bowlers bowled tightly to make use of the conditions.”

Maharashtra coach Shrikant Kalyani said his bowlers conceded far too many runs. “We should have bowled Odisha out for less than 150 after winning the toss,” he said.