Victory for Odisha in drawn Ranji match!

Cuttack, Nov 12, 2017 (Team OCA): 

Odisha senior cricket team achieved a glorious feat by gaining three points from their Group-C Ranji Trophy match, which ended in a thrilling draw against Tamil Nadu on the fourth and last day at DRIEMS Cricket Ground, Tangi, 20 kms from here today.

The draw was as good as a victory for host Odisha, who secured the three precious points by virtue of first-innings lead, overtaking Tamil Nadu's mammoth total of 530 for eight declared with one wicket in hand. The memorable match ended when Odisha vice-captain Basant Mohanty gave his team the all-important lead, hitting Washington Sundar for a four.

Young wicket-keeper batsman Rajesh Dhuper turned out to be the hero of Odisha's incredible success, hitting a career-best 97, which happens to be his maiden first-class half-century. Returning to the state senior team after a gap of two years, 17-year-old Cuttack lad showed great sense of responsibility and courage at a time when the chips were down. Taking charge when Odisha were struggling at 310 for five, Dhuper hung on for more than five hours and carried the team to the doorstep of the first-innings-lead with valuable support of the lower order.

When Dhuper was dismissed by Sundar, Odisha were still five runs behind the opposition total. But Mohanty and Dhiraj Singh held their nerve to give the hosts their well-deserved three points. Dhuper's 225-ball valiant knock, which was studded with 12 boundaries and two sixes, fetched him the award as man of the match.

Inspired by Dhuper's gem of a knock, lower-order batsmen also came up substantial contributions for Odisha. Among them, Suryakant Pradhan slammed a 39-ball 43 (4x4, 2x6) and Alok Sahoo hit a 66-ball 36 (4x4, 2x6). Earlier in the day, Shantanu Mishra (71) registered his maiden first-class half-century and Biplab Samantaray (50) his 15th after Odisha resumed at the overnight score of 286 for four. Odisha now have five points from four matches and they will next meet Baroda at Reliance Cricket Stadium in Vadodara from November 17 to 20.

SCOREBORAD:

TAMIL NADU (1st innings): 530/8 decl
ODISHA (1st innings): Sandeep Pattanaik c K Gandhi (Sub) b Yomahesh 66, Natraj Behera lbw Shah 91, Govinda Poddar c Mukund b Sundar 29, Subhranshu Senapati b Sundar 4, Shantanu Mishra c Indrajith b Sundar 71, Biplab Samantaray st Jagadeesan b Shankar 50, Rajesh Dhuper c Indrajith b Sundar 97, Alok Sahoo c Jagadeesan b Yomahesh 36, Suryakant Pradhan lbw Yomahesh 43, Basant Mohanty (not out) 18, Dhiraj Singh (not out) 2; Extras (b-16, lb-9, nb-1) 26
Total (9 wickets; 187.1 overs) 533
Fall of wickets: 1-128 (S Pattanaik, 41.3 ov), 2-176 (Poddar, 61.1), 3-180 (Senapati, 61.5), 4-208 (N Behera, 70.2), 5-310 (Samantaray, 116.6), 6-352 (Mishra, 139.6), 7-414 (Sahoo, 161.1), 8-472 (Pradhan, 175.2), 9-525 (Dhuper, 185.4)
Bowling: Vignesh K 37-7-98-0, V Yomahesh 29-12-60-3, Vijay Shankar 23.3-5-78-1, Rahil Shah 45-14-109-1, Washington Sundar 35.1-12-95-4, Lakshman 12.3-2-51-0, B Aparajith 5-1-17-0.

PHOTO: Odisha wicket-keeper-batsman Rajesh Dhuper after playing a gem of a knock in their Ranji match against Tamil Nadu on Nov 12, 2017.