Odisha’s middle-order batsman Biplab Samantaray stood between Andhra and outright victory in the Group ‘C’ Ranji Trophy match that ended in a draw at Dr. PVG Raju- ACA Sports Complex here on Friday.
Samantaray (62 runs, 112b, 148m, 8x4, 2x6) fought a gallant battle along with the tail and managed to survive both mandatory overs and the extra time. Odisha, trailing by 193 runs, was 152 for seven in 55 overs in its second knock. Andhra, by virtue of the first innings lead, pocketed three points and Odisha, playing its second tie, got one.
Odisha, after being dismissed for 391 in 139.3 overs, followed on and with five to six close-in-fielders encircling the batsmen, the day unfolded to an engrossing tussle.
Andhra spinners, led by left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt (four for 77 & four for 40), bowled at the right spots.
Refusing to buckle
Natraj Behera, skipper Govind Poddar, Subhransu Senapati, Sandeep Pattanaik, Saurabh Rawat left early, leaving Odisha tottering at 75 for five at tea. Post-tea session saw Andhra using all the tricks in the book to remove the well-set Samantaray. But the stocky batsman hung on and thwarted all the designs of the host.
Odisha, resuming the day at 294 for six, was bowled out for the addition of 97 runs. Samantaray (72) ploughed the lone furrow for his team and forged a 49-run partnership with Pradhan, before his match-saving act later in the day.
Andhra will face Madhya Pradesh at Vizianagaram in the next round from November 1 and on the same dates Odisha will clash with Mumbai at Bhubaneswar.
- Andhra 584 for five decl. drew with Odisha 391 in 139.3 overs (Govind Poddar 111, Subhransu Senapati 91, Biplap Samantaray 72, Bhargav Bhatt four for 77) & 152 for seven in 55 overs (Samantray 62 not out, Bhatt four for 40). Andhra 3, Odisha 1).
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