March 24, 2001

Parida's unbeaten 159 helps Orissa gain upper hand

Staff Reporter

Thanks mainly to Rashmi Parida's splendid unbeaten 159, Orissa were poised to take the first innings lead at stumps on the third day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Madhya Pradesh at the Captain Roop Singh stadium in Gwalior on Saturday. Replying to the hosts' first innings total of 437, Orissa were 369 for five at close.

Orissa were certainly in a spot of bother when they resumed at 110 for three. Indian leg spinner Narendra Hirwani had struck twice late on Friday to have them struggling. Parida and skipper Sanjay Raul, the overnight batsmen got the innings back on track by adding 117 runs for the fourth wicket off 42.4 overs. Raul, who was content to play second fiddle, was then leg before to Jai P Yadav for 40. He faced 143 balls and hit four of them to the ropes.

The 26-year-old Parida then found another able partner in Pravanjan Mullick and the two raised the score by 90 runs during a fifth wicket association that lasted 24.2 overs. Mullick, who dominated the stand, was finally stumped by Srivastava off Golwankar for 51. He faced 78 balls and hit six fours and a six. Parida and P Jai Chandra (35 not out) then maintained the momentum by adding 59 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket off 26.4 overs. Jai Chandra by close had faced 83 balls and hit four of them to the fence. Parida came in having faced 363 balls and hitting 19 fours. It was a long toil in the field for the MP bowlers and Chandrakant Pandit tried seven of them in all. But Orissa enjoyed the upper hand throughout the day.